When SQL Server 2014 CTP 1 was announced last week, I was on it and getting ready to download within a half hour of hearing about it. I quickly ran into a small issue. I didn’t have a machine prepped for the install. There’s no way I would install a CTP on my laptop, I’ve been through that nightmare before. My first attempt to get a machine ready with Windows Server 2012, resulted in some other frustrations.
Due to this, I was left with thinking outside the box; which led me to thinking outside the box. I turned to Windows Azure and fired up an image there, this took all of 10 minutes. I re-downloaded the CTP again to the Windows Azure machine. Then I ran through the install. All told, I was able to create the virtual machine and perform the install in under an hour.
But that’s not the point of this post. Shortly after the install, I found out that there are already images for SQL Server 2014 CTP 1 available through Windows Azure. If you want to test SQL Server 14 without bothering to deal with the install, then check this out. You can deploy the CTP with either Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2.
There are a few things to be aware of when using this image. First, you need an active Windows Azure subscription. Mine was recently disabled, since I overused my MSDN allocation. Second, if you exceed your month MSDN subscription, you will not be able to access the machine until the next billing cycle. A good rule of thumb is to turn off your machines when you aren’t using them. Lastly, the machines will expire on both Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, the dates are December 16 and December 18, respectively.
What do you think? Will you try SQL Server 2014 on Windows Azure?