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Thursday, April 22, 2010
Microsoft Kicks Off Worldwide Launch of SQL Server 2008 R2

Microsoft today announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.

SQL Server 2008 R2 will be available in early May through Microsoft?s distribution and partner channels.

To celebrate the release, Microsoft, in collaboration with the Professional Association for SQL Server, will host more than 85 live launch events worldwide. For customers and partners who cannot attend a live event, Microsoft is offering a SQL Server 2008 R2 Digital Tour online at

Microsoft claims that customer reception to this release through the technology preview stages has been one of the best in the history of the product, with more than 300,000 downloads of the community technology previews.

Key enhancements in this release include the following:

- Managed self-service business intelligence (BI) for reporting and analysis

- Enterprise-class scalability and greater IT efficiency

-Platform integration spanning the datacenter to the cloud

Managed Self-Service Business Intelligence for Reporting and Analysis

With the release of SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft is introducing new managed self-service BI capabilities, bridging the gap between IT professionals and end users by leveraging familiar tools such as Microsoft Excel 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. With the new BI technology named PowerPivot, end users can bring data from virtually anywhere and manipulate large datasets with ease while still enabling IT to monitor and manage user-generated BI solutions.

Enterprise-Class Scalability and Greater IT Efficiency

With this release Microsoft continues to focus on critical datacenter needs, enabling businesses to create a highly available infrastructure that is more secure and easier to manage. Recent benchmarks show that SQL Server 2008 R2 has raised the bar in performance on industry-standard hardware. With the introduction of SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter edition, in combination with Windows Server 2008 R2, customers can now run databases on systems with up to 256 logical processors, and move to a virtualized datacenter with Hyper-V and Live Migration support. These two releases will help Microsoft's customers move to a private cloud infrastructure that is highly available, consolidated and virtualized and that scales on demand.

Additional key enhancements in this release include two new components of Microsoft?s information platform: SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services, which helps Microsoft's customers drive better data consistency across heterogeneous systems, and SQL Server 2008 R2 StreamInsight, which supports high-scale complex event-stream processing.

With the upcoming availability of SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse, Microsoft's customers will be able to scale-out their data warehouses from tens to hundreds of terabytes. SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse will be offered as an appliance in several configurations through select hardware providers.

Spanning the Datacenter to the Cloud

The power of SQL Server is extending to the cloud through Microsoft SQL Azure, which provides a programming model, common capabilities and tools while offering new business opportunities, high availability, self-management and massive scale through distributed cloud data services. Microsoft?s recent preview release of the service code-named "Dallas" enables its customers to have access to rich new datasets from companies such as Pitney Bowes Inc., NASA and the Associated Press Online. With the capabilities in PowerPivot for Excel, combining private and public datasets for deeper analysis and business insight is much easier.

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