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New SQL Server: Scanning 1 Trillion Rows Per Minute

There were plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" from the audience at the PASS Summit during Ted Kummert's keynote address Tuesday as he demonstrated new capabilities of the next version of SQL Server, called "Denali."

One notable demonstration was with Microsoft's Amir Netz, who ran a side-by-side comparison of a database query using some 2 billion records, with one side of the screen showing the query being run with regular technology and the other side showing the same query running many times faster with the VertiPaq technology borrowed from PowerPivot. Netz said the blinding speed of VertiPaq would equate to a theoretical processing rate of 1 trillion rows per minute.

The VertiPaq technology--using columnar storage as opposed to rows--is now available to parts of the new SQL Server, such as the new BI Development Studio running with Visual Studio 2010.

Netz also gathered applause by showing off "Crescent," the code name for "a new Web-based data visualization and reporting tool that extends PowerPivot," as described by Microsoft. Netz showed in a flashy demo how huge amounts of data can be manipulated to "tell a story" to others.

While the Community Technology Preview of Denali was released at PASS, Microsoft hasn't said when a final product is expected to ship.

Other enhancements introduced by Microsoft include:

  • A SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse appliance released with hardware partner HP (with other choices available in the future). "Through deep interoperability with the Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) platform, customers can deliver managed self-service BI solutions to everyone in the organization," Microsoft said in a statement.
  • An updated Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program for SQL Server that "allows SQL Server experts to achieve MCM certification with more flexibility and at a lower cost compared with the previous program."
  • Code-name "Atlanta," a configuration service hosted in the cloud that will "help IT proactively avoid configuration problems and rapidly resolve identified issues through step-by-step guidance."

The PASS Summit continues through Thursday.

Posted by David Ramel on 11/09/2010

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