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Microsoft renames SQL Server release, adds data services

Some say upping the logical processor support in SQL Server may be a reaction to Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

LOS ANGELES – The next version of SQL Server will be getting a new name, added logical processor support and a bevy of new data management services.

At TechEd 2009, Microsoft said it will re-label the next major release of SQL Server, which was expected to be SQL Server 2010, as SQL Server 2008 R2. The product had previously gone under the code name Kilimanjaro. A Community Technical Preview (CTP) for the release is promised for the second half of 2009.

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New master data services will go into the release based on technology from Stratature, a data management company Microsoft acquired in 2007, said Ward Ralston, a Microsoft group product manager. These services "will let you manage data assets forcing quality rule, standards and [they] also let you define workflow around changes and manage hierarchy," Ralston said.

Centralized management will make it easier to run multiple servers and multiple instances of SQL and identify consolidation opportunities, he said. Microsoft has also upped the number of logical processors in SQL Server from the expected 64 to 256 to take advantage of multi-core processors. He would not comment on how that capability will be packaged or priced.

Some see both the renaming of the upcoming database and the upping of its logical processor support as a reaction to Oracle's acquisition of Sun. Even skeptics say that the combination could bolster Oracle's position atop the enterprise database heap.

Adding support for more logical processors "is a good move. They are heading off stuff that will come out of the Snoracle deal — and I will take attribution for that term," said George Brown, president of Database Solutions Inc., in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

SQL Server has made good headway against Oracle but still needs credibility at the very highest end and in the biggest companies, Brown said.

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