New Features and Functionality of SQL Server 2008

SQL Server 2008 has been significantly enhanced since the previously released versions. Moreover, the product continues to support Microsoft's data platform vision of mission-critical enterprise data platform, dynamic development, relational data, and business intelligence.

I was recently a speaker at the SQL Server PASS Community Summit in Denver. Majority of the presentations were based on SQL Server 2005, however, there were plenty of discussions on SQL Server 2008 too. Rumor has it that SQL Server 2008 is still on track to be released during the first quarter of 2008.

I have had the opportunity to work with the product for over a year now and I am very pleased with the new features and functionality introduced this time around. Some of the top new features that most organizations, DBAs or IT professionals will leverage consist of the following:

  • Transparent Data Encryption - The entire database, including data and log files can be encrypted without the need to make application changes.

  • External Key Management - A new solution has been introduced for encryption and key management within the enterprise. This includes integrating with existing PKI solutions and third party HSMs.

  • Enhanced Auditing - Enhanced auditing is offered to meet the needs of today's regulatory compliances such as PCI.

  • Enhanced Database Mirroring - Builds upon the previous version of database mirroring by introducing automatic page repair, improved performance and new client redirect technologies.

  • Performance Data Collection - A new centralized data repository is introduced for storing performance data from the enterprise in a consolidated manner.

  • Backup Compression - Less disk i/o is required with the new compression technologies introduced. This reduces the size of the backup stored on disk. Some say the compression is similar to Quest's Litespeed backup product.

  • Data Compression - Enables data to be stored more efficiency, which in turn bolsters performance read and write operations of large workloads and also reduces storage requirements

  • Resource Governor - One of the strongest new features for managing resources and performance in SQL Server 2008. Resource Governor allows a DBA to define resource limits and priorities for different workloads .

  • Declarative Management Framework - A new buzzword in 2008, which provides a Policy Based Management solution for the database engine by allowing a DBA to create system policies, monitor and prevents changes, detects compliance issues and reduce TOC by simplifying mundane tasks.

  • Resource Governor - One of the strongest new features for managing resources and performance in SQL Server 2008. Resource Governor allows a DBA to define resource limits and priorities for different workloads .

  • Tight integration with Windows Server 2008 - Organizations can benefit from the scalability and performance gains of Windows Server 2008 including failover clustering with 16 nodes.

  • Tight Integration with the Office 2007 Suites - Deliver business intelligence data more easily with Excel 2007 and or SharePoint Server 2007.

With any new release of a Microsoft product, there is a tremendous amount of new features and functionality introduced. The list above is just some of the top features included in SQL Server 2008. Stay tuned for more information on SQL Server 2008 as I will be blogging a series of SQL Server 2008 items over the next few weeks.

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