A highlight of the service pack is a monitoring API allowing DBAs or third-party tools, such as Precise/In-depth for SQL Server, to diagnose problem processes.
The service pack also features an error reporting function enabling Microsoft to be notified automatically about critical errors. Multi-server administration also is improved, enabling centralisation of maintenance tasks for several servers onto a single server.
Database performance is boosted through use of Virtual Interface (VI) technology in the SQL Server networking layer, to reduce CPU consumption per message on the server and client systems.
To boost performance, support is provided for QLogic's VI-enabled SAN QLA2350 Fibre Channel controller.
Security is enhanced through provision of an updated version of Books Online, enabling customers to have more guidance on security through online documentation.
Patches are provided for known vulnerabilities reported by users or discovered through testing.
The SQL Server Agent used for scheduling routine tasks such as backups and restores, can now be run as a non-administrator fashion.
Customers can download the service pack at www.microsoft.com/sql/downloads/2000/sp3.asp.