Tech-Ed: Microsoft Unveils SQL Server 2008 Release Candidate

It was supposed to be released at the same time as Windows Server 2008, but Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is just getting cleaned up for its big act. At Tech-Ed IT Professionals this week, Microsoft announced the availability of the SQL Server 2008 release candidate.

This is the final public release before SQL Server 2008 releases to manufacturing in the third quarter of this year, so anyone looking at an early deployment should start by testing with this RC. This product includes improvements in mission-critical platform, dynamic development, beyond relational data and pervasive business insight.

Are you planning an early deployment of SQL Server 2008? Which new features are most important to your organization? Give me the scoop on your data at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

IT User Group TV Debuts
Here at Redmond magazine, we've always known that a key to Microsoft's success in IT has been the emergence of strong IT-oriented user groups.

Microsoft is now acknowledging the importance of its user groups with User Group TV for IT Pros, a monthly webcast that brings programming on IT products and techniques to user groups worldwide. It's possible to view past broadcasts and sign up for notifications of upcoming ones. Further, you can provide feedback on past shows and make suggestions for new ones.

Do you belong to a user group? Tell me about how it makes you a better IT pro at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Quest Brings SQL Server Management Solutions to Market
IT solutions vendor Quest Software made a number of announcements at Tech-Ed this week, with several revolving around tools supporting SQL Server.

In one announcement, the company unveiled Capacity Manager for SQL Server 2.5, which lets system admins control disk space, growth rates and database performance. The second part of the announcement focused on Change Director for SQL Server, which enables database professionals to better manage the implementation and control of enterprise-wide changes to database structures and locations.

In a separate announcement, Quest released a consolidation guide that provides best practices along with techniques for using Quest tools to plan and execute a SQL Server consolidation project. In conjunction with this guide, the company also made available a free tool, Discovery Wizard for SQL Server, that allows organizations to find each instance of SQL Server in their environment, along with LiteSpeed for SQL Server to help in backing up and moving data with minimal downtime.

Do you use Quest tools in your SQL Server environment? I hear Toad is also widely used. Tell me which tools you use at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Lieberman Software Makes Passwords Random
For those of you who have challenges applying a password security policy across the servers in the enterprise, this week at Tech-Ed Lieberman Software announced Enterprise Random Password Manager 4.0. Enterprise Random Password Manager automatically randomizes local administrator and root account passwords across every system in the enterprise, according to a defined schedule.

The product especially shines in environments where server account passwords are used in a cascading manner, for other servers, applications or services. The Enterprise Random Password Manager can be used to identify and enumerate every location in the enterprise where every account is used, and then automatically propagate password changes to these systems and accounts.

How do you manage your server passwords? Give me a hint at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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