SQL Server 2005 Beta Released, Support for AMD Opteron Added
by Alex Woodie
Microsoft yesterday announced the availability of the second beta release of its SQL Server 2005 database management system, codenamed "Yukon." New features in this beta release include support for Advanced Micro Devices' 64-bit Opteron processor, as well enhanced capabilities in the areas of enterprise data management, developer productivity, and business intelligence.
Microsoft says SQL Server 2005 will support AMD Opteron processors running in either 32- or 64-bit modes, and will help to position SQL Server as a viable alternative to Unix-based systems running rival databases, IBM's DB2 and Oracle. SQL Server 2000, the current release of the database, already supports Intel's 64-bit Itanium processors, and support for AMD's Extended System architecture "complements" this Itanium support, Microsoft says.
This second beta release of SQL Server 2005 was supposed to ship in the second half of 2004, until delays set it back at least six months. Earlier this year Microsoft announced that it would delay shipment of the database, which features close ties to the next release of the Visual Studio development suite (see "Microsoft Delays Future Versions of SQL Server, Visual Studio"). Microsoft is still on track to ship SQL Server 2005 during the first half of 2005.
Microsoft made several enhancements in this beta release besides the support for AMD's 64-bit architecture, including the new SQL Server Management Studio, which is the new name given to the SQL Server "workbench"; new Snapshot Isolation, Database Mirroring, Database Snapshots, partitioning, and Service Broker capabilities to improve scalability and availability; new encryption capabilities in SQL Server Express; better reliability and performance tuning in SQL Server Mobile; improved database programmability and integration with Studio; new data mining algorithms; and enhanced extract, transform, and load (ETL) performance for loading data warehouses.