SQL Server update promises high-end performance boost

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches to the update of its SQL Server relational database, due out in November. It said that after the five-year wait since SQL Server 2000, the new offering will boost performance.

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches to the update of its SQL Server relational database, due out in November. It said that after the five-year wait since SQL Server 2000, the new offering will boost performance.

Delegates at last week's Tech Ed conference were told Microsoft's strategy for SQL Server 2005 is to address performance concerns that have limited the use of its predecessor in the datacentre, where Oracle and DB/2 are the preferred choice of databases that power mission-critical business systems.

Mauro Meanti, general manager of the EMEA server division at Microsoft, said, "We are focusing on the high end with SQL Server to scale to the top 5% of enterprise users."

Such organisations have traditionally turned to Unix databases to meet the demands of running global operations.

Euan Green, product manager for SQL Server, said users can expect a boost in performance when multi-core chips, such as Intel's 64-bit Monticeto, arrive.

"With Monticeto and x64 chips, what you will get out of two-way and four-way servers will be tremendous," he said.

Green also discussed SQL Server management improvements. These include database mirroring for automatic failover if the database server crashes; a snapshot database restore facility and the ability to install extra memory on a server running SQL Server 2005 on Windows Server 2003 without requiring a reboot.

Security is a priority, with high-risk database functions switched off by default. Microsoft is also undertaking certification of SQL Server 2005 under the US NSA EAL4+ programme, a high level of security accreditation.

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