SQL Server 2008 R2 Release Date: April 21 2010


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:

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.

Jabba offers Leia a DAC Pack

Jabba offers Leia a DAC Pack

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.

May 21?

May 21?


May 21?

May 21?

Who’s the source, Luke?

I sense a disturbance in the release date

I sense a disturbance in the release date

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.

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26 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for the notice!

  • Last week I was lucky enough to get in on some of the DAC Pack talk behind and in front of the scenes in Redmond, where Sean and I talked to Dan Jones and quite a few others.

    You say “I’m just a blogger, what the hell difference does my opinion make?” I know you (I think), Sean, and Denny got to jump up Dan’s butt about DAC pack back at PASS, and have been making quite a lot of noise about it since. MS has heard all the noise, and they’re giving off the distinct impression that voices like yours and Sean’s make a huge impression.

    Of course, we’ll see how well that plays out in the next (post-R2) release of SQL. #Imjustsayin

    • I really wish I could have been there for that event! If I spend any more time away from home, though, Erika’s gonna make me find a new home, heh.

      I hear what you’re saying about the impression, and it’s great that they’re even putting on events like that. Good social media marketing is about starting conversations. I hope they follow through, because that feature could really rock. It’s just a shame it’s going to take so long, because virtualization will blow past the DAC Pack to achieve similar goals.

  • Wow! That sure as hell won’t work for people who are pushing the storage limits of their environment. I met a guy in a class recently who worked on at 2TB database. 1. He would never have the space on the server to user it. 2. I can’t imagine how long that would take to complete.

    Thanks very much for the heads up.

  • Thanks for the heads up Brent. At some point would you consider blogging on areas that a regular DBA needs to focus on (without jumping onto the BI bandwagon) but keeping in mind upcoming new features and how the product is changing? I know learning more about Azure (perhaps), now add DAC to the list. What else would help? Thanks again.

    • Sure, that’s exactly what my blog is. I try to only blog about things I think you should know. If I think you should learn something, I blog about it. If I don’t – I don’t. 😉

      There’s not really anything else that “regular DBAs” need to learn about in R2. It focuses mostly on the BI stuff. I love the BI stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not a BI guy, so I don’t blog too much about that. There’s a couple of small features like backup compression in Standard Edition and added unicode compression, but nothing earth-shattering.

    • You may want to start looking into R2 by downloading the Free eBook from MS Press.


      R2 looks like it is going to have some nice features for DBAs like the Utility Explorer Dashboard, Utility Control Point, and Consolidated Management.

      I have not actually seen or worked with any of the R2 CTPs or other releases so I can’t fully speak to it. Brent do you have any insight into the above mentioned features?

      • Yeah, I’ve worked with those, and in the links in this post I point to a video where I walk through them. Because they really need the DAC Pack to show off their capabilities, I’m not excited about them in v1, but I’m bullish on their long-term future potential.

  • Wait a minute… Are you saying a normal lunch is less than 2 martinis?

    Boy, you learn something new every day, I guess.

  • Christopher Bellizzi
    April 15, 2010 12:26 pm

    I see you used the Jedi mind trick again…

  • I just found this digital tour site for R2. Lots of videos and some good info here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/tour/en/default.aspx

  • Yup. It would have helped if that critical tidbit of information was dispersed perhaps on a slide, or in an orderly fashion once everyone was assembled.

    But no, instead a game of “who can guess the R2 release date? I’ll throw you a T-Shirt!” was played as people were filtering back in from a break. Random months were then filtered down to a date, and I was convinced that the 21st was the date called out and subsequently confirmed.

    Sort it out Microsoft – these are the details that matter to the people on the ground trying to actually install for our clients.

    I was expecting it to be re-iterated, but no …

  • Conference call today:


    “Kummert to make significant announcement related to SQL Server”

    Hat tip to @jamiet for the nudge – perhaps an announcement on the official dates forthcoming?

  • Yep today (21/04/2010) the SQL Server 2008 R2 is available for download >>> http://is.gd/bC2CI


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