Microsoft unleashes long-awaited SQL 2008 update

Microsoft's SQL 2008 R2, to be released next month, can support larger implementations

Microsoft has released to manufacturing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, the new version of its relational database management system software, the company announced Wednesday.

The software, a major update of the SQL Server 2008 code base, has been in development for almost two years. Thus far, the developer version of the software has been downloaded more than 300,000 times, according to the company.

The R2 version updates the SQL Server 2008 in a number of ways, said Mark Linton, director within Microsoft's application platform group.

One notable feature is the scale. A single SQL Server 2008 instance can now be run on up to 256 logical processors. Previously, a SQL Server instance could only scale up to 64 logical processors. It will also run on as much as two terabytes of working memory. This will pave the way for more large scale, enterprise deployments, Linton said.

The software also has been updated to work better in Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualized environments. For instance, the virtualized instance of the software can be migrated from one server to another while continuing to run.

The software's administration software has been updated as well. A new feature, called Utility Control Point, enables database administrators to manage the policies of entire farms of SQL Servers from a single console. "Through one control point, you can administrator your entire infrastructure through a standardized set of policies and tools," Linton said.

The software also helps other Microsoft products in providing users with "self-service business intelligence," Linton said. The software can provide live data for a new Microsoft Excel data analysis add-on call PowerPivot, which was designed to manipulate "millions of rows of data" quickly.

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