Microsoft Demos New SQL Server Features at PASS
Microsoft today previewed the ability to centrally manage applications and
resources in the planned upgrade of SQL Server, code-named "Kilimanjaro."
The company introduced the centralized app and system management capability
at the annual Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Conference, being
held this week in Seattle. Though PASS is an independent user association, Microsoft
typically has a strong presence at its annual conferences because of the large
number of SQL Server customers and partners that attend.
The Kilimanjaro preview was among a handful of incremental announcements at
PASS this week, where Microsoft is focusing on convincing customers to upgrade
to SQL Server 2008.
In the keynote address, Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of Microsoft's
data and storage platform division, highlighted the new centralized app and
systems management capability as the latest component in the company's effort
to further bolster SQL Server as a platform for data warehousing and enterprise
scale application development.
With Kilimanjaro, planned for release in the first half of 2010, customers
will be able to consolidate data sources and increase the amount of information
in the repository without degrading performance, according to the company.
outlined its most current SQL Server roadmap last month at its Business
Intelligence (BI) Conference, also held in Seattle, where the company described
Kilimanjaro as the next key update to SQL Server 2008. In an interview Tuesday
in advance of Kummert's keynote, Quentin Clark, general manager of Microsoft's
SQL Server group, said Kilimanjaro is not the next version of SQL Server; that
will come within 36 months of the release of SQL Server 2008, which shipped
this past summer.
"Kilimanjaro is really an add-on kind of release. It's not really a major
release, it's not a new database," Clark said. "We will do bug fixes
and other minor stuff but it's not a major release of the database engine."
That said, Clark acknowledged that the engine in SQL Server will be improved
with Kilimanjaro. At the Windows Engineering Hardware Conference (WinHEC) in
Los Angeles earlier this month, Clark demonstrated support for systems with
more than 64 cores.
Microsoft said it is working with Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Intel for Kilimanjaro
to support up
to 256 logical processors running on the next release of Windows Server,
called Windows Server 2008 R2.
In its bid to enable massive parallel processing in SQL Server, Microsoft has
also begun talking up a technology under development, code-named "Madison."
Slated for release during the Kilimanjaro timeframe, Microsoft said Madison,
based on the technology it acquired in September from DATAllegro, will let organizations
scale data warehouses to hundreds of terabytes. Microsoft said it will have
a preview of Madison within the next 12 months.
A key component under development that will support Kilimanjaro are new tools
under the code name "Gemini," which Microsoft unveiled at its October
BI summit and outlined for PASS attendees. The goal of Gemini is to let a broader
set of users manipulate data without relying on BI or IT experts.
Also at PASS, Microsoft officials talked up SQL Data Services (SDS), announced
of its cloud services portfolio at last month's Professional Developers
Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles.
The company announced customers who are beta testing SDS, among them NeoGeo,
a German-based developer of database and storage solutions, and Infosys Technologies
Ltd., a global provider of outsourcing services. NeoGeo is testing SDS for what
it hopes will be a low-cost, cloud-based relational storage repository, while
Infosys is building a service that could let car dealers share information online
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.