This is a long post, but there is so much happening at PASS!

During the opening keynote at the PASS 2009 Summit, Ted Kummert, senior vice president of the Business Platform Division, highlighted Microsoft’s continued commitment to mission critical workloads, announcing the upcoming delivery of the November CTP of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Microsoft also announced two new premium editions of SQL Server for high-end, mission critical scenarios, SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse and a new partnership with IBM for SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse version 2.0.

SQL Server 2008 R2 is the next generation information platform, delivering a trusted scalable platform, increased developer and IT efficiency and managed self-service BI. Several customers, such as Premier Bankcard Inc., Mediterranean Shipping Company, Caregroup and BigHammer are already taking advantage of the key benefits of R2 including:

· Managed self-service business intelligence. Expanding powerful BI tools to all users with SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel and empowering a new class of business users to build and share powerful BI solutions with little or no IT support, while still enabling IT to monitor and manage user-generated BI solutions

· Greater IT and developer efficiency. Enabling administrators to centrally monitor and manage multiple database applications, instances or servers, accelerating the development and deployment of applications and providing improved support for virtualization through Hyper-V with Live Migration in Windows Server 2008 R2

· A trusted and scalable platform. Supporting data consistency across heterogeneous systems through SQL Server Master Data Services, enabling high-scale complex event-stream processing through SQL Server StreamInsight, and supporting scale-up scenarios for the largest available x64 and Itanium hardware (up to 256 logical processors)

The two new editions of SQL Server 2008 R2 include:

· Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter together with Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, provide a foundation on which to build enterprise-class solutions, with support for 256 logical processors, unlimited virtualization, high-scale complex event processing, and application and multi-server management.

· SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly Project code-named “Madison”) extends Microsoft’s leadership in data warehousing by offering massive scalability for the 100+ terabyte data warehouse at low total cost of ownership.

Microsoft is also excited to announce IBM as the newest partner offering three hardware configurations as a part of SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse version 2.0. HP, Bull and Dell also announced new configurations for version 2.0. Fast Track Data Warehouse version 2.0 will continue to enable companies to accelerate their data warehousing projects, and achieve high scalability at a low total cost of ownership (TCO). For more information visit www.microsoft.com/fasttrack.

Lastly, this morning, Microsoft announced three new benchmarks with partners Unisys, IBM, and Intel demonstrating the enterprise scalability of SQL Server 2008 R2:

· A new world-record TPC-E benchmark result running on a Unisys ES7000 Model 7600R Enterprise Server set a performance record of 2,012 tpsE (transactions per second for the TPC-E benchmark) on a 96-core Xeon platform, the first result on a server with more than 64 cores.

· The same Unisys server achieved 102,778 QphH (queries per hour) on the TPC-H 3TB benchmark, showing data warehousing performance 70 percent higher than the previous record on Windows.

· A Microsoft Dynamics CRM benchmark run on IBM System x3650 M2 servers with Intel Solid State Drives demonstrated 20,000 concurrent users across 20 xRM applications on Microsoft Dynamics CRM with an average response time of 0.10 seconds.

SQL Server 2008 R2 feature complete CTP will be available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers in November. Microsoft remains on track to ship SQL Server 2008 R2 in the first half of calendar year 2010. More information about Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/how-to-buy.aspx.

The PASS 2009 event is currently being held through November 5th in Seattle, Wash. To learn more about PASS, please click here: http://summit2009.sqlpass.org/. To view the event press release, please click here, http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/nov09/11-03pass09pr.mspx and to visit the SQL Server PressPass site, please click here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/sqlserver/default.mspx.

You can also find us on Twitter @MS_SQL_SERVER, where we will be hosting a Twitterview with Ted Kummert following his keynote. He’ll answer ten questions submitted to him @MS_SQL_Server following his keynote at 10:30 a.m., so “twitter-in” for that or view the entire Twitterview, which we’ll be posting to the Data Platform Insider blog shortly after: http://blogs.technet.com/dataplatforminsider/default.aspx. The Twitter hash tag for the event is #SQLPASS.

Transaction Processing Performance Council (www.tpc.org) benchmark results as of 11/02/09.  Unisys ES7000 Model 7600R Enterprise Server; TPC-E: 2,012 tpsE, 958.23 $/tpsE; TPC-H: 102,778 QphH@3TB, 21.05 $/QphH@3TB; available 5/6/2010.