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Ninefold offers Windows Server 2012 head start

Australian company offers cloudy servers with cut-over to official code

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft will officially launch Windows Server 2012 next Tuesday, September 4. But if you want to run the OS now, Australian public cloud outfit Ninefold will let you create a server and automatically switch it over to a fully-licensed version.

Ninefold is the public cloud arm of otherwise-staid Aussie company Macquarie Telecom, and has tried to be something of an AWS-lite – a useful service, seeing as how no major public cloud company operates on Australian shores.

Like AWS, Ninefold has a library of preconfigured virtual machines that one can set in motion with a few clicks. For those who simply cannot wait for Windows Server 2012's launch, the company has added servers running evaluation versions of Microsoft's latest server operating system to its laundry list.

This gives you the weekend and Monday during which to bask in the joy of running Redmond's latest, safe in the knowledge that Ninefold will then switch over from the current evaluation-only version of Windows Server 2012 to a licensed copy as soon as Microsoft presses the Launch button. Any modifications you've made to the server before launch will be retained.

Given Australia's favourable time zone – nine hours ahead of London and 19 ahead of California – you therefore have a chance to spend the weekend working on a cloudy Windows Server 2012 virtual machine. US readers can even devote Labor Day to the task. And what sysadmin would deny that's a grand use of time? &reg

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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