Microsoft has released the final community technology preview for the SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse appliance, though it appears to have pushed back the final release of the product.
The appliance, formerly known as Project Madison, was slated to be ready in the first half of 2010. However, Microsoft said it is still gathering feedback from customers and now expects "to announce more specific release timing, final configurations and pricing for our hardware partners in early summer."
In the meantime, the company released the final community technology preview of the product to users. The latest release offers a hardware choice with appliances planned for HP, Dell, IBM and Bull as well as integration with Microsoft business intelligence tools such as PowerPivot, Reporting Services, Analysis Services and Integration Services.
"Early performance tests on Parallel Data Warehouse indicate that the final technology preview is, on average, 45 percent faster than the first technology preview," Microsoft announced on its SQL Server team blog. "Microsoft built and tested a Parallel Data Warehouse appliance with up to 50 nodes, 320 cores and 137TB of physical data storage."
The Parallel Data Warehouse appliance uses a symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) architecture to process queries within one physical instance of a database, and partitions large tables across multiple physical nodes. Each node has dedicated CPU, memory and storage, and runs its own instance of SQL Server in a parallel, shared nothing architecture, according to the company.
The release builds off of technology Microsoft acquired when it bought DATAllegro in 2008.