The SQL Server 2008 R2 release date was April 21, 2010. You can download SQL Server free as an evaluation version.
I’ve written a lot about the new features:
- SQL Server 2008 R2 Pricing and Feature Changes – the pricing is going up, but you get new features in Standard Edition.
- SQL Server 2008 R2: Virtualization for Databases – introduces the concept of the DAC Pack and relates it to virtualization.
- Data Tier Applications (DAC Packs) – explains what the DAC Pack means for DBAs.
- R2: Going Into the Clouds – discusses some longer-term implications around what DBAs do.
- SQL Server 2008 R2 Utility Control Point demo – I walk through it on video.
- SQL Server 2008 R2 FAQ – including the license changes for virtualization
I gotta be honest – I think the current implementation of the DAC Pack sucks. I’ll give you just one example that’s a complete showstopper for me – when you deploy a new version of a DAC Pack (aka database), SQL Server renames your old database, creates a new one, and copies all of your data from the old database to the new one.
Got a 100GB database? Better tell your users to go get some lunch. And you’d better not hope something goes wrong in the process, or else they might need to make it a two-martini lunch.
Got any disaster recovery plans for that database? Doing any log shipping or database mirroring? Yeah, that won’t work either, because you’re talking about an all-new database.
Just doing a simple stored procedure change, nothing else? Doesn’t matter – SQL Server will copy all the data, every time. It’s like how maintenance plans handle index rebuilds – SQL Server just blindly does a ridiculous amount of work whether it’s needed or not, and no, you can’t have any say in how it works.
I would strongly, strongly advise against using DAC Packs in a production environment. It’s not ready for prime time yet, and I’ve voiced that concern loud and clear to Microsoft. I laugh when I write that, because I’m just a blogger – what the hell difference does my opinion make? The feature’s already baked into the product and it’s got one foot out the door. It sucks because the smart people are going to walk away with a very bad first impression of DAC Packs, and the not-so-smart ones are going to actually implement it and then get burned badly by the upgrade process. But hey – that’s how you get smart, right?
I do love the idea of the DAC Pack, and I’m excited to see how it develops over time. And I really like everything else I’ve seen in R2, too – I don’t have the slightest concern about deploying it in production on the release date. Just go easy on the DAC Packs.
Update: maybe not May 21. I’m hearing secondhand (nothing NDA) that either the audience heard the dates wrong, or Microsoft announced it wrong. I’m showing a couple of tweets below from audience members to support that it was probably the latter.
Who’s the source, Luke?
More news as it happens.
Update April 21: Microsoft scheduled a 7:30 AM Pacific conference call to announce something, but the SQL Server 2008 R2 download page leaked by 6:15, so the cat’s out of the bag.