Microsoft Raises Curtain on Yukon Beta 2

Microsoft's SQL Server database update includes support for 64-bit x86 platforms, as well as improved productivity, security and business intelligence.

Microsoft Corp. is peeling back the covers of its highly anticipated SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 database this week to reveal enhancements such as support for 64-bit x86 platforms, as well as improved security and management tools.

The Redmond, Wash., company will roll out SQL Server 2005 Beta 2, code-named Yukon, for download to about 300,000 MSDN Universal and Professional subscribers. Yukon Beta 2 includes support for Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s Opteron processors with Direct Connect Architecture and Intel Corp.s 32-bit chips with 64-bit extensions, said Microsoft officials.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read why users are willing to wait for Yukon.

AMDs Direct Connect Architecture improves memory and bandwidth by directly connecting memory and I/O to the CPU and by directly connecting CPUs to one another.

Yukon beta tester Tim Kelly, technology director at credit card processor TSys Inc., of Columbus, Ga., said native support for the Opteron could enable him to manipulate a 2TB to 3TB database with a 60- to 90-second response time—versus 5 minutes.

"[The AMD support] is welcome and extremely significant because weve already started deploying the [Hewlett-Packard Co.] 585 ProLiant servers. When we run the Intel 3.2GHz Xeon against the 1.8GHz Opteron, the Opteron is outperforming it for our [customized internal] application," said Kelly. "Were excited like everyone to get our hands on it to start some lab testing and see what the actual performance numbers are."

Kelly said hes looking forward to accessing Yukons natively installed AMD instructions for SQL Server rather than having to rely on native Intel instructions.

Kelly pointed to the importance of improved database mirroring in Yukon Beta 2, as well as the stabilization of .Net and code interpretation to launch stored procedures out of C# and Visual Basic .Net versus the T-SQL language.

/zimages/4/28571.gifAt this years TechEd, Microsoft announced encryption protection for Yukon. Read about it here.

SQL Server 2005 Beta 3 is on track for release before years end, said Tom Rizzo, Microsoft SQL Server product manager. The final version of the database is due to hit shelves in the first half of next year. No major alterations are expected between Beta 2 and Beta 3, officials said.

However, Rizzo said Microsoft developers are trying to add reporting technology that the company got via its acquisition of ActiveViews Inc. in April. The ActiveViews components will be integrated directly into the databases Reporting Services feature to allow nondeveloper users to create reports without using Microsofts Visual Studio.

Next Page: Microsoft plays catch-up in AMD64 support realm.