Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (code named "Denali") has a lot of really intriguing features including high availability, columnstore indexes, self-service Business Intelligence, faster full-text search, data visualization, and improved security and compliance. Consult the feature guide for more information.
In order to make it as easy as possible for you to test your applications with this new database, we've worked with Microsoft to create a new EC2 AMI that is preloaded with Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3) of SQL Server 2012. The new AMI is available in all five of the public AWS regions. The AMI IDs are listed here; you can also find them using the AWS Management Console:
Instead of locating some suitable hardware and spending your time downloading and installing nearly 3 GB of code, you can simply launch the AMI and start exploring within five minutes. You will pay only for the EC2 instances that you launch and run; there are no additional software licensing costs.