Steve, you don't get sponsored by companies for posting this or do you?
I do not mean to question your integrity but you seam so positive about it. However that could be because I feel quite negative about it, thou I have my reasons.
However, since it's on the news all the time, it sure is worth debating now and again.
Um...the big deal is....what? I connect remotely to every production SQL Server instance that I've worked with for over 2 decades. I rarely have to manage the OS on anything that my SQL Servers are running on. If I built it against a local development instance, I haven't ever had to make changes to it to get it to run in production. I would hope the RedGate tools worked against this Amazon instance, because it is just like every other SQL Server instance out there.
I guess I must have missed something, because you just described almost every SQL Server in existence. Only a tiny fraction of the SQL Server out there even have a DBA to manage them. Of the group that I manage, I set the backups up once and the sys admins take care of getting my backup files offsite. I rarely have to do anything at an instance level and even more rarely have to manage anything on the OS.
All Amazon has done is say "we'll provide the DBA".
You've missed nothing, it's a sales hype. Virtualized server services in a new package is all it is, but with more limitations.
I would say that this far, the gain is not worth the loss. The loss would be the cost as well as the problem with performance, reliability and also the legal issues of where the data is stored and who has access to the data and who can demand access to the data. It's not legal to export Swedish personal information about customers etc to third parties like some agency in usa for instance which could happen.