Microsoft to Deliver New SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions

At the PASS conference, Microsoft announces two new premium editions of SQL Server 2008 R2. The upcoming editions are SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse.

Microsoft announced Nov. 3 that it has two new premium editions of SQL Server 2008 R2 in store for users and remains on track to release a community technology preview for the database in November.

At the PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) Community Summit, in Seattle, Ted Kummert, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Business Platform Division, said the company is unveiling SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly code-named Project Madison).

"Microsoft's vision is to deliver an information platform enabling all businesses to gain strategic value from information," Kummert said in his keynote. "Companies are looking to compete and grow by reducing costs and identifying the highest-value opportunities for their business. We're moving forward rapidly to address these challenges with new capabilities in manageability, business intelligence, data warehousing and the first relational database cloud offering in SQL Azure."

SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter is designed to offer "high levels of scalability for large application workloads and managing an organization's database infrastructure," as well as virtualization and consolidation, Microsoft said in a news release. Included with the edition are application and multiserver management capabilities for enrolling, gaining insights and managing more than 25 instances. In addition, Microsoft has included support for more than eight processors and up to 256 logical processors.

Users of SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse will find a similar focus on scalability. Building off technology from the DATAllegro acquisition, the appliance leverages a massively parallel architecture to improve performance and help organizations scale with the needs of their data warehouse, Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's director of product management for SQL Server, told eWEEK in an interview prior to the conference.

The appliance also features advanced data warehousing capabilities such as Star Join Queries and Change Data Capture, and will be available on industry-standard hardware from Bull, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

On the BI front, SQL Server 2008 R2 will extend "BI tools to all users with SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel and ... [enable] users to build and share powerful BI solutions with little or no IT support, while still enabling IT to monitor and manage user-generated BI solutions," Microsoft said in the news release.

"The November CTP also has brand-new features," Ibarra said. "We announced earlier this year a new technology called StreamInsight for complex event processing that will be available in the November CTP. We also announced Master Data Services ... which will also be available in that CTP. So basically the November CTP will be feature-complete."

SQL Server 2008 R2 is slated for general availability in the first half of 2010.