Yesterday at the Microsoft Hosting Summit, Doug Leland, general manager of Business Platform Marketing at Microsoft presented a breakout session titled, “Why a Strong SQL Server Offering is Critical to your Cloud Business.” The session looked at what’s coming in the next version of Microsoft SQL Server and why Microsoft believes it is such an important component to your cloud and hosted services. He reviewed the key pillars in the next version of SQL Server, “Denali.” Additionally, it covered the opportunity SQL represents for service providers as more workloads move to the cloud.

Leland stated that the cloud component of the database market is relatively nascent today, but that licenses of databases in the cloud are expected to represent an increasing percentage of the overall database market in the coming years. That massive opportunity makes the need for a secure, scalable platform of the utmost importance due to the critical nature of applications. He also talked about the need for additional IT services and solutions in the form of business intelligence (BI), and the need for SaaS solutions, particularly for small business.

Leland also took a look at some of the dynamics that are shaping this market, citing IDC data that suggests there are currently 1.2 zettabytes of digitized information on the planet. For those who aren’t aware (which included everyone in the room), a zettabyte is ten with 21 zeros. In the next decade IDC expects that number to grow 44 times, while IT budgets are projected to grow only 1.4 times during the same timeframe. That adds up to a major need for better data management.

All of these factors were taken into account with Microsoft SQL Server.

Microsoft’s strategy
Leland described Microsoft’s strategy with SQL Server in four parts.

  1. A mission critical platform that provides the highest level performance, scalability, availability, and disaster recovery built in
  2. Affordable cost
  3. Developers. Investing in tools and technologies that enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and run their applications either on premises or in the cloud
  4. Business Intelligence, which Leland called “pervasive insight.” The ability to effectively mine data for better business decision making

Microsoft delivers these capabilities in three form factors. Traditional, out-of-the-box SQL Server; delivered through appliances (pre-packaged, pre-tuned software and hardware combinations); and through the cloud.

SQL Server “Denali”
Leland also spent time talking about the next version of SQL Server, Denali. Denali empowers organizations to be more agile in today’s competitive market. Customers can efficiently deliver mission-critical solutions through a highly scalable and available platform. Industry-leading tools help developers quickly build innovative applications while data integration and management tools help deliver credible data reliably to the right users and new user experiences expand the reach of BI to enable meaningful insights. With SQL Server code-named “Denali” customers will benefit from the following added investments:
Enhanced Mission-Critical Platform: an enhanced highly available and scalable platform.

  • Developer and IT Productivity: new innovative productivity tools and features.
  • Pervasive Insight: expanding the reach of BI to business users and end-to-end data integration and management.

The session ended with Leland talking about upcoming training for Denali, beginning at TechEd and going all the way through to launch, the date of which has not been announced. He also stated that as they move towards launch, there will be opportunities for partners to engage with Microsoft on this next version of SQL Server.