Microsoft preps SQL Server for battle in two enterprise arenas

It's looking to bulk up the popular database

Routinely accused of bloating Windows and Office, Microsoft Corp. has acted more like a skinny teenage boy with enterprise apps like SQL Server: desperate to bulk up.

King of the middleweight databases, SQL Server has yet to be fully accepted by the big boys, admits Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server & Tools division. "Really large data warehouses and extremely large scale-up apps are the last high-end problems" remaining for SQL Server, Muglia said in a keynote at the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) users' conference in Seattle on Monday.

A year ago, Microsoft announced plans to add heft to SQL Server. On Monday, it added some detail when it announced two new versions for when SQL Server 2008 R2 ships by the middle of next year.

One is a Datacenter edition aimed at companies needing to scale-up their online transaction processing (OLTP). Used in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, the Datacenter version can support up to 256 logical processors (physical CPUs multiplied by the number of threads they can support) and what Microsoft claims is "unlimited virtualization" . It also supports complex event processing (CEP).

The other is a new Parallel Data Warehouse version that can immediately support tens to hundreds of terabytes of data in clusters scaling out to about 24 nodes , according to senior vice-president, Ted Kummert.

That still pales compared to companies like Teradata Corp., which released a 50-petabyte data warehousing appliance last fall .

Today, Microsoft can only claim one SQL Server data warehouse in the petabyte range .

But, said Kummert, "Our intent is to build data warehouses of all sizes, including well over 100TB."

Future plans include enabling parallelized SQL Server data warehousing clusters of 100 nodes, according to Fausto Ibarra, director of product management, SQL Server, as well as working with partners to optimize SQL Server for servers using solid-state disks (SSDs) for storage.

Along with increased capabilities comes an increase in price for SQL Server, though only slightly and only for some customers.

The per-processor price for SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard edition will go to $7,500 from $6,000, while the enterprise price will increase to $28,800 from 25,000. Kummert pointed out that most customers buy SQL Server via server and client access licenses (CALs), which do not change.

With the two new versions, SQL Server, including the cloud-based SQL Azure version , now comes in 10 flavors . That's not quite as many as a certain ice cream store, but is still hard for many customers to keep track of.

SQL Azure remains on track to begin official service by year's end. Rather than cannibalizing SQL Server's business on the low-end, "I think of SQL Azure as giving customers flexibility and freedom of choice," Kummert said. He vowed to "move pretty aggressively" to add features and power to the hosted service.

Another threat to SQL Server on the low-end is the MySQL database owned by Oracle Corp. Some open-source figures suggest that Microsoft would benefit if the European Commission decides to block Oracle's merger with Sun Microsystems due to antitrust fears related to its ownership of MySQL. There's also been talk that Microsoft might be in the market to buy it if Oracle were forced to divest.

Kummert declined to comment on the possibility.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftSQL

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?