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Commentary on the March 14th Forrester Report

Lisa Vaas of eWeek recently reported on a Forrester Report, writing by Noel Yuhanna

(,1759,1776014,00.asp), that describes a number of customers who are not at ease with the current condition of the Yukon beta.  Yuhanna describes two key concerns – performance benchmarking and high-end scalability benefits – which are the heart of the article which I would like to comment on. 


The concern described - Yuhanna expressed surprise that no performance data had been released on the beta product.  First, Yuhanna compares Microsoft’s behavior to that of Oracle and IBM, both of whom “roll out their high-end performance numbers six months before a major release”.  When I do the math on a tentative release of Yukon set for September 2005, March lands us six months prior.  So it seems to me that these concerns are a tad premature.  My second observation on this issue is that for the last two releases of SQL Server, the beta 3 cycle was the traditional period of concentrated performance tuning.  That means that any TCP numbers released in early beta cycles would basically wasted effort, because the beta 3 release would be far superior in terms of performance and stability.  (Despite the many improvements to come in beta 3, I heard that Dell has just released record breaking TCP results today using beta 2.)


The second concern, over an apparent lack of high-end scalability benefits, to me seems just plain odd.  This concern would be akin to worrying that Oracle 10g doesn’t have enough scalability features – without every taking notice of the RAC features in the 10g release.  In fact, many of the most important features in Yukon are focused on high-end scalability.  In particular, I’m thinking about partitioning, the new snapshot isolation level, and database mirroring.


If you’re unaware of these features, check out these resources:


Using Partitioned Tables and Indexes in SQL Server 2005: Find out why, when, and how to use SQL Server 2005 table-based partitioning features to improve the manageability and performance of your large tables.   


Snapshot Isolation in SQL Server 2005 Beta 2: SQL Server 2005 provides non-locking, non-blocking read consistency to your users via snapshot isolation. Find out when to use it to improve performance and reduce latency in your applications.


SQL Server 2005 Database Mirroring - sponsored by PASS, October 27, 2004: This SQL Server 2005 TechNet chat on Database Mirroring is a free ranging discussion that answers a lot of questions about mirroring and its benefits.  Sponsored by PASS (


Let me know if this helps!







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