When it comes to digging in and understanding the new SQL Server 2008 features, some of the best resources are Microsoft white papers. Microsoft has created a collection of 44 white papers about SQL Server 2008. The seven below are my favorites.

7. Reporting Services SharePoint Integration Troubleshooting

Because it uses SQL Server as its data store, SharePoint is one of the biggest driving forces behind new SQL Server implementations. SharePoint can also be integrated with Reporting Services, so users can run reports from SharePoint sites. This white paper guides you through the set up and discusses common errors and their solutions.

6. FILESTREAM Storage in SQL Server 2008

The new SQL Server 2008 FILESTREAM data type lets you combine the data management and integrity of SQL Server’s relational database engine with the performance of accessing LOB storage from the native file system. This white paper explains SQL Server’s different LOB storage options and shows some great performance comparisons that help you to see when you should use the FILESTREAM data type.

5. Partitioned Table and Index Strategies Using SQL Server 2008

Partitioning tables and indexes can be a great way to improve query performance—especially for very large tables. This 65-page downloadable white paper provides an overview of SQL Server 2008’s table partitioning feature and shows how to use table partitioning to address the sliding window scenario and data archiving.

4. Plan Caching in SQL Server 2008

This white paper helps you to understand SQL Server 2008’s query plan caching, an important factor in maximizing performance. You’ll learn how to minimize query plan recompilation and how to maximize query plan reuse.

3. Using the Resource Governor

The Resource Governor gives you the ability to control the system resources that various workloads consume. This 70-page downloadable white paper introduces the Resource Governor and shows you how to use it for workload consolidation, stopping runaway queries and meeting service level agreements.

2. Consolidation Using SQL Server 2008

Server consolidation was one of the most common IT objectives in 2009 and with the move toward green computing it’s sure to continue to be a hot topic. This detailed, downloadable 60-page white paper helps you with all aspects of SQL Server consolidation from team building and planning to migration strategies and post-consolidation management.

1. High Availability with SQL Server 2008

Availability is the DBA’s number-one responsibility. This white paper identifies the leading causes of down time and data loss and guides you through the SQL Server technologies that enhance high availability.