Microsoft Prepares SQL Server 2008 R2 Preview

Speaking at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Community Summit in Redmond, Wash., Ted Kummert, senior vice president of the Business Platform Division at Microsoft, said SQL Server 2008 R2 will help Microsoft customers gain more strategic value from the mountains of information residing in their backend systems, the size of which has been traditionally daunting for many firms.

"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," Kummert said at the event.

Kummert also discussed two new additions to the SQL Server portfolio: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly project code-named "Madison"). SQL Server R2 Datacenter offers scalability for large application workloads and database management, and supports up to 256 logical processors with no limits on virtualization.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse is designed for data warehousing appliances built by Microsoft hardware partners Bull, Dell, HP, and EMC, as well as newcomer IBM. Microsoft deepened its data warehousing portfolio with its September 2008 acquisition of DATAllegro, an Aliso Viejo, Calif. firm whose technology allows SQL Server to handle hundreds of terabytes of data.

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SQL Server 2008 R2, which Microsoft plans to launch in the first half of 2010, includes expanded business intelligence tools, virtualization support, and database management capabilities.