SQL Server 2008 R2 Launches!

here!  The latest version of SQL Server is out, and it's a big release.
This is an exciting time for us - this release is an "R2" - a first for SQL
Server. No, it isn't a service pack, and no, we didn't change the product so
much that it affects anything that you've already installed in SQL Server 2008.
You're still able to upgrade from SQL Server 2000 and higher, you get all of
the benefits of moving from an earlier platform. Why this kind of timing and
naming for the product? And what is different in this release than in SQL
Server 2008? And Good questions all.

the reason for the release schedule was to properly align Microsoft's flagship
database product with Microsoft Office, and with Microsoft's "cloud" strategy.
One of the strengths of the SQL Server platform is that it works well with our
other products, and in Microsoft Office 2010 and the latest release of
SharePoint we have included amazing array of Business Intelligence features for
the "non-IT" worker. This means your business users can get at the data they
need and want, and the IT department can still control and protect the data the
way it should be. It's the best of all worlds.

But it
doesn't stop there. As you may have heard, Microsoft is "all in", with a
comprehensive cloud strategy.  We have not only a complete cloud
development platform (Azure) but also a relational database offering (SQL
Azure) that goes beyond just hosting a SQL Server Instance in a rack somewhere.
SQL Server 2008 R2 allows you to connect to SQL Azure like you're connecting to
a local server. You now have capacity on demand, without losing any of your
local systems or control.

there's more - this release also includes the "Datacenter" edition, with
support for up to 256 logical processors, data and backup compression (from SQL
Server 2008) and the ability to use SQL Server with "Live Migration" - a
virtualization technology that lets you move virtualized servers without
downtime. These features, along with rapid adoption in the most
mission-critical, enterprise-class environments means that you should consider
SQL Server as a "Tier 1" application platform.

are indeed exciting times for the data professional. Make sure you hit these
links to learn more - your organization is counting on you as the data
professional to know what's new and useful in the data world. You can also post
any questions you have on this post - I'll try and make sure someone gets back
with you:

Server 2008 R2 Launch Site: http://www.sqlserverlaunch.com/

Microsoft Site for SQL Server 2008 R2: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/R2.aspx