SQL Server: The Sequel - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Feature
News
11/14/2002
07:09 PM
50%
50%

SQL Server: The Sequel

Microsoft's SQL Server has been playing catch-up with its rivals for years. Is it now what big business needs?

"Wow!"

The E-mail from Jim Gray, a distinguished engineer with Microsoft Research, had just that one word in its subject line. Contained within was a link to a benchmarking study showing a Hewlett-Packard system with a massive 8 terabytes of disk storage running Microsoft software, including its relational database-management system, SQL Server. At an impressively low price point in transaction throughput, it's the kind of evidence that validates everything Gray has been working toward since he joined Microsoft seven years ago from Digital Equipment to develop a low-cost, highly scalable system capable of handling data-center workloads.

For less than $1 million, the eight-CPU system chewed through 110,000 transactions per minute. "This is the kind of thing I was hinting at," Gray wrote in the message, sent earlier this month. "This is mainframe performance and engineering at commodity prices." Gray admits a $900,000 system isn't everyone's idea of a commodity, but the cost is, at minimum, "half the cost of competing systems."


Jim Gray

Microsoft is aiming to provide mainframe performance, Gray says.
After years of working behind the scenes to improve the features, reliability, and scalability of the database software that's joined at the hip with Microsoft's flagship Windows operating system, Gray and his counterparts on the SQL Server development team believe the system is on the verge of a performance breakthrough. A 64-bit version of SQL Server is due early next year, timed to coincide with Microsoft's 64-bit operating system, Windows .Net Server, and the growing availability of servers equipped with Intel's 64-bit Itanium chips.

A major upgrade to SQL Server, code-named Yukon, will begin testing in the first half of next year. The revision will include improved capabilities for building big data warehouses as well as enhancements to bolster SQL Server's traditional strength--ease of use--at the lower end. For instance, database programmers will find it easier to use their language of choice in development, and administrators will get a uniform set of tools for managing the database and its accompanying online analytical processing engine.

The improvements have been a long time coming. Next month marks the 10-year anniversary of Microsoft's entrance into what was then a crowded, hotly contested market for relational database-management systems. By steady improvements to SQL Server, and by hitching the product to the coattails of Windows and Microsoft's network of developers, the vendor has steered its way into the No. 3 position in the $7.1 billion relational database market, with 14.4% share in 2001, according to research firm Gartner. As the years went by, Microsoft surpassed Computer Associates, Informix, Sybase, and more than a dozen other database suppliers through low cost and its distribution channel.

Today, Microsoft sells four databases: a desktop version of SQL Server, as well as the server version; FoxPro 7.0, which is part of its FoxPro application development environment; and Access 2002, which is part of the Office XP application suite. Microsoft got into the relational database market with Sybase's help back in 1987, when it negotiated the right to co-develop and resell Sybase's system. The deal ended after seven years, and Microsoft took over full-time development of its own version of the platform.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 4
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll