Another reason to sign-up for Visual Studio Dev Essentials

The March update for Visual Studio Dev Essentials has announced that SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is now free for Dev Essentials members! It was always great value for non-production development and testing, but now – it really shows how Microsoft SQL Server is really gunning for Oracle’s database customers.

Exciting news! Starting today, SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is available as a free download for Dev Essentials members. Build almost any kind of database application and unlock insights faster with a complete business intelligence solution. SQL Server 2014 was designed to work in hybrid environments, making it easier for you to build back-up and disaster recovery solutions with Azure, as well as delivering a consistent experience across on-premises and cloud.

Getting Started With Cloud Databases

Data technologies have never been hotter whether it’s traditional relational databases, NoSQL databases, or Big Data technologies. Cloud has never been hotter either, and it’s the perfect environment to get familiar with old and new technologies – in this guide I look at the major cloud players, and look at what options are available to get started with cloud databases.

Microsoft Azure

There are several ways to get started with Microsoft Azure’s cloud database offerings – try the one month trial from Azure directly; get Azure benefits with Visual Studio Professional with MSDN; get twelve months of Azure benefits with the free Visual Studio Dev Essentials either as software or a cloud version; or pay up!

One thing to watch for, from my experience using previous benefits, is to be careful when using non-Microsoft products which are not open source. My subscription was suspended during one billing cycle because I’d built an Oracle VM, and my MSDN credits could not be used for that product. I had to raise a case with Microsoft to get the issue resolved.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon offer a free product offering called AWS Free Tier which allows you to do anything in the cloud for free for 12 months, though usage limits obviously apply!

Google Cloud Platform

Google offer a USD 300 60 day¬†trial, though – unlike Azure or AWS – you won’t be able to do anything with Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database here. Google Cloud SQL isMySQL versions 5.5 and 5.6 behind the scenes. The product offering is up to 104GB of RAM and 10TB of data storage – so fairly significant!

Oracle Cloud

Oracle do offer their databases in the cloud, or as Database As A Service (DBAAS), but I wasn’t able to find any trials or benefits. And when I stumbled across the monthly cost of Exadata in the cloud, I got more than a little¬†scared!