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September 29, 2005
2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
3. News & Views
4. Events and Resources
5. Featured White Paper
6. Peer to Peer
8. New & Improved
Sponsor: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Migration
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SQL Server and the VLDB: Playing with the Big Boys
by Brian Moran, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Winter Corporation recently released the list of the winners of its 2005 Winter TopTen Program (http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=14F28:285886 ). This survey of the world's largest and most heavily used databases is a veritable Who's Who in the very large database (VLDB) space that reveals who's pushing the boundaries of what's possible with today's technology. I was pleased to see the strong growth and adoption of SQL Server among the biggest of the big in the VLDB space.
The winners list isn't a benchmark in the sense of a TPC-style score, but it's interesting to peruse the results. Unlike a TPC score, the systems that the Winter Corporation profiles are genuine production systems, so in some ways, it's more instructive about what's possible in the database world than a TPC benchmark list might be.
The 2005 survey shows SQL Server gaining market presence in the VLDB market. No, SQL Server didn't land the grand prize for biggest-of-the-big in the data-warehousing space. Microsoft's biggest data-warehouse system weighed in at 19.5TB, which was only about one-fifth the size of the 100TB monster that Yahoo is running with an Oracle back end. But 19.5TB isn't something to sneeze at, and it's eleven times larger than the biggest entry running on SQL Server in 2003. Similarly, SQL Server didn't win biggest-of-the-big in the OLTP space; it landed the number-six spot with an 8TB entry that was about one third the size of the largest OLTP system, which runs on IBM DB2.
But SQL Server did score third in the list. Across the board, SQL Server achieved 23 winning entries in Winter Corporation's various TopTen categories, a five-fold increase since 2003. And Microsoft swept the top spots for both OLTP and data warehousing workloads for systems running on a Windows platform. In the past, other vendors beat Microsoft on its home turf, which had to be a bit embarrassing.
SQL Server has taken many years to earn industry respect and be accepted as a trusted platform for the largest enterprise systems. SQL Server isn't at the top of the pack yet for VLDB customers, but with strong showings in all of Winter Corporation's TopTen categories, chances are that SQL Server is strong enough for anything you're planning in your organization.
On a completely different note, I was surprised to see that a 24TB Linux/Oracle combo in the data-warehousing workload category actually topped the largest Microsoft entry of 19.5TB. I don't mean to suggest that Linux is more capable than Windows. But I can remember back a few years ago when folks laughed at Windows as a viable platform for the high-end enterprise, and I know many people today who feel the same way about Linux. The 2005 Winter Survey seems to establish Linux as a viable platform for the VLDB space and as a competitor to be taken seriously.
Quest Software--Quest Central for SQL Server
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2. SQL Server 2005 Watch
Historically, data mining has been viewed as a BI topic that only BI experts could handle. For most developers, data mining is a new topic, and although it's exciting, it's not a simple subject to learn. But SQL Server 2000 introduced many data-mining features that let experts more easily perform data-mining tasks in their standard SQL Server environments. And SQL Server 2005 makes data-mining functionality available to all users. New tools let end users report and learn from data and give developers the ability to embed data mining in applications. In his October Preparing for SQL Server 2005 column, Microsoft guru Matt Nunn explains the data-mining project lifecycle and shows how you can use SQL Server 2005's new features to extend data mining capabilities in your applications. Read the article today at
3. News & Views
On Tuesday, Microsoft announced availability of its System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM), the next step forward in the company's Universal Distributed Storage strategy. Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division, announced the release, emphasizing that the product promises to lower the total cost of ownership for backup and recovery while helping customers achieve rapid, reliable recovery and near-continuous protection.
"Backup has been the bane of IT professionals for decades," Muglia said. "Disk-based data protection provides a revolution in providing continuous backup and fast recovery of data. Data Protection Manager will help usher in this new era of disk-based data protection."
The release of DPM is the latest step in Microsoft's Universal Distributed Storage strategy, aimed at delivering distributed storage solutions built on industry-standard hardware. Microsoft will work with industry partners to bring high-end, low-cost functionality to a range of devices, PCs, and servers. Microsoft's goal is for Windows to manage storage more cost-effectively than other platforms, centralized on a Storage Area Network (SAN) or on a remote worker's desktop. For information about the new DPM, visit Microsoft's DPM site at
Results of Previous Instant Poll: Database Mirroring Delay
"Will the delay of the Database Mirroring feature affect your adoption of SQL Server 2005?" Here are the results from the 57 votes (deviations from 100 are due to a rounding error):
New Instant Poll: User Groups
"What user group are you a member of?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=14F39:285886 ) and submit your vote for
4. Events and Resources
Celebrate the release of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 at SQL Server Magazine Connections, November 7-10, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every attendee will go home with a fully licensed copy of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition AND Visual Studio 2005 Professional. Call 203-268-3204 or 800-438-6720 for details.
Back By Popular Demand--Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005! SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Receive a one-year membership to PASS and a one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now.
In this free Web seminar, you'll learn how to leverage SQL Server 2005's advantages by upgrading your current SQL Server application to SQL Server 2005. You'll learn about upgrade and migration considerations for each tier of the SQL Server platform, pre-upgrade planning and testing, executing the upgrade, post-upgrade validation, and more.
Managing desktop software configurations doesn't have to be a manual process, resulting in unplanned costs, deployment delays, and client confusion. In this on-demand Web seminar, find out how to manage the software package preparation process and increase your desktop reliability, user satisfaction, and IT cost effectiveness. Plus, register today and receive a free industry white paper on standardizing the software packaging process.
5. Featured White Paper
Supercharging SMS for Effective Asset Management
Cost control and license compliance have risen to the top of the IT asset and desktop management agenda. Learn to map Microsoft's SMS to specific business objectives and examine the pitfalls of relying solely on SMS to achieve business IT asset management objectives. Download this free white paper now and find out how you can leverage technology to bridge the gap between technical professionals and your CFO.
6. Peer to Peer
How can I deploy a SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services database from my development environment to my test, staging, QA, or production environment? I need to keep my production and development environments synchronized.
Hot Article: Ready, Set--Select!
Though it's not reasonable for most customers to plan for a November SQL Server 2005 deployment, most SQL Server 2000 customers will upgrade to 2005 eventually, and knowing what 2005 offers puts you in the driver's seat. In his October 2005 editorial "Ready, Set--Select!" Michael Otey provides an overview of the first features you should learn about. Read this article today and post your comments at
In a Nutshell: DPM and the Shower That Tried to Kill Me
In this week's blog "DPM and the Shower That Tried to Kill Me," Kevin Kline praises Microsoft's newly released System Center Data Protection Manager, saying that at first glance, it looks like an effective, low-cost, high-availability solution. He also regales us with a harrowing tale of a beastly shower. Read the blog and let Kevin know your opinion of the new DPM today at
SQL Server General Discussion: Importing Binary Files Into SQL Server
Reporting Services: Crystal Reports
T-SQL: Sp_OACreate::Invalid Class String
Performance: View/Stored Procedure Facade
Development: Is BCP Synchronous?
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8. New & Improved
by Dawn Cyr, email@example.com
Have you used a product that saved you time or made your job easier? Tell us how your favorite product solved a SQL Server problem for you, and if we print your submission in the magazine's Hands On department we'll send you a SQL Server Magazine t-shirt. Send your email today to firstname.lastname@example.org!
DataDirect Technologies announced DataDirect XQuery, an embeddable component for XQuery that's modeled after the XQuery API for Java. The product lets developers create applications that can run on any Java platform and access data from any major relational database, including SQL Server 2000, Oracle, IBM DB2, and Sybase. Developers can query XML, relational databases, or a combination of the two, and they can use query results for XML-based data exchange, XML-driven Web sites, and other applications that require or leverage the power of XML. The product simplifies application development by reducing the amount of code developers must write and maintain to use XML and relational data together. The product also optimizes and mediates query performance when accessing relational data. And because the product lets application developers write one easy-to-maintain application for any database, organizations will benefit from improved interoperability. A 15-day free trial of DataDirect XQuery is available at the vendor's Web site. For more information, contact DataDirect Technologies at 800-876-3101 or 919-461-4200.
TimeSpring Software announced a free version of its TimeData continuous data protection (CDP) software that lets SQL Server 2005 Community Technology Preview (CTP) users test and migrate realtime production data from SQL Server 2000 without shutting down, slowing, or exporting data. The software reduces the risk associated with migrating SQL Server databases by simplifying and shortening the migration process while allowing data migration in a live-transaction environment. The software works by automatically capturing all changes to SQL Server databases in realtime. You can use the resulting data repository independently of the original database to test, analyze, and report real data. You can quickly refresh data at any time, and you can even temporarily reverse migration without losing data. In addition, the live database and the new SQL Server 2005 system will be continuously protected, enabling recovery from data loss or corruption within minutes. The free version of TimeData is available to qualifying North American businesses. For further details about the program, contact TimeSpring at 408-834-8966 or the vendor's Web site.
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