GCN Insider | Microsoft SQL Server 2005: Case of the missing mirror

This month marks the long-awaited release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Organizations have traditionally used SQL Server for office-sized jobs, but Microsoft Corp. hopes to tackle big enterprise chores with its new version. 'With SQL Server 2005, there is not a battleground we are backing away from,' David Brown, technology specialist for Microsoft Federal, told GCN.

Well, maybe one battleground. One feature missing from the initial release is mirroring. It reportedly was promised but then pulled by Microsoft this fall after initial beta deployments proved problematic. Common in enterprise database systems, mirroring involves logging a new set of data on two databases running in parallel. That way, if the primary database goes down, the second database can instantly respond to service requests. The Redmond, Wash., giant promises the capability by next summer.

Despite the missing mirroring capability, Microsoft is hoping SQL Server 2005 will have a sufficient array of tools for mission-critical jobs. An index-tuning wizard will now be able to run simulations, allowing administrators to do load predictions and what-if analyses, while database snapshots can record all incremental changes to a backup copy. The full SQL Server suite offers reporting and analysis tools and, with this release, Microsoft's first full version of extract, transform and load (ETL) software, called Integration Services.

Resellers are charging ahead with SQL Server 2005 marketing. 'We believe that SQL Server 2005 will have lower total cost of ownership than Oracle,' said Scott Keough, Microsoft practice manager for GTSI Corp. of Chantilly, Va. Only time will tell.

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