Not long ago I decided to purchase a Technet Subscription from MS. This is one of the best things that I ever did. I get pretty much unlimited access to all MS products and I get to try them all out. I do not get to use the products in production of course, but for learning this is the best. I use it all the time especially for SQL Server. I have multiple VM’s set up in a lab so that I can test test and test some more. I have learned a lot by having the ability to download and install as much as I need. Currently I am working on building a server 2003 VM that I will install SQL Server 2000 on and then I will use that in conjunction with a server 2008 VM running SQL Server 2008 to try and test out replication from 2000 to 2008. I currently have a business need for this but I do not have a true test environment for that. So I went home and set it up in my personal lab so that I can work it all out before I throw it into production at work. This is great for me. I get to learn first hand about all the new products and have them fully licensed. That means that I do not have to rebuild every 120 days when the trials run out. I will be able to use these VM’s forever in my testing. If you do not have a Technet Subscription then I highly recommend that you go out and get ond. For someone that works in IT I think it is a must. Here is a link to Technet. Also if you do a google search you will be able to find a discount code. Totally worth it for the full price though.