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The company I'm currently working with is "moving to the cloud" (isn't everyone these days?)

In this case, they are moving to AWS, and they want a simple and effective way of managing multiple (SQL) servers within AWS without requiring manual work.

They have a (single) SQL Server production server running on AWS.

What they want is to be able to start new instances of EC2 servers at will running SQL Server (for various purposes) and synchronize it with the production server in some automated way. They are very open about what can be used in order to make this work: It could be a set of T-SQL scripts, POSH scripts, freeware tools, commercial tools (or any combination of them.) It doesn't matter the tool, as long as it isn't too complicated to setup and maintain, they just want the job done.

So my question is, what would you recommend for this kind of thing?

Any suggestions (including commercial products) are welcome :)

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When you say synchronize, what is your tolerance for latency, and availability requirements? How far out of sync can the instances be, and what is the business expectation in the event of a failure? –  Eric Higgins Jul 16 '12 at 16:22
    
@EricHiggins great questions! They are not to be used as mirrors or anything related to HA. It's strictly for use as test and reporting environments. As for latency, the secondary servers can be 1 hour late by the time they are fully functioning. –  ivanmp Jul 16 '12 at 17:27
    
@AaronBertrand I've just looked at the service from Red Gate. It seems to me it's about SQL Azure (now SQL Databases) and not SQL Server per se, so I don't think it helps in my case :( –  ivanmp Jul 16 '12 at 17:30
    
Sorry I mis-read some of the question. I thought you wanted to synchronize schema between AWS and other, not facilitate something like replication or mirroring in AWS. –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 16 '12 at 20:01

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