Today, as the old saying goes, is a red-letter day, with the launch of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008.

Our team has been heads down, working to ensure SQL Server 2008 is delivered to you with great performance and scalability. You’ll see signs of this in the new SQL Server February 2008 Community Technology Preview, which includes great new performance features in the engine, SSRS, SSAS, and SSIS, as well as just thumping good performance.

But don’t take my word for it: ask NEC, IBM, SAP, HP, and Unisys. Today, our partners are delivering proof this is the best release yet of SQL Server!

Here’s a quick round-up of the industry standard benchmark results our partners published today, Feb 27, 2008, using Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008. Details of the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) results can be found on www.tpc.org. More information on the SAP SD result is available on SAP’s web site.

  • #1 TPC-E result of 1,126 tpsE at a cost of $2,771/tpsE, using a 64-core Intel Itanium-powered Express5800/1320Xf system. This result demonstrates the power of NEC’s architecture and the scalability of SQL Server 2008 for enterprise OLTP workloads since it is our first 64C TPC-E result
  • TPC-E result of 479 tpsE at a cost of $1,591/tpsE, using a quad-socket, 16-core IBM x-Series x3850 M2 system. This is a 14% gain over IBM’s previous x3850 M2 TPC-E result with SQL Server 2005
  • HP’s newest SD three-tier result of 34,000 users, which is #1 on quad-processor industry-standard servers, and is 88% faster than a previous quad-processor result on SQL Server 2005. This result shows the power of HP’s BL680C blade servers and Intel Xeon 7300 series processors. Did you ever think you’d see the day a blade could be expected to handle the workload volume of 97% of SAP deployments worldwide?
  • And last, but not least: HP published today the first-ever TPC-H result on SQL Server at the 10 TB scale factor: 63,650 QphH at $38.54/QphH, using a powerful 64-core Integrity Superdome server with HP SAS storage. Unless you’re Walmart, the odds are high your DW is smaller than this!

Industry standard benchmarks are great, but unfortunately they don’t yet cover all usage scenarios customers care about. ETL is a key part of any production DW workflow, and we’ve been paying special attention to the performance of SQL Server Integration Services, our ETL tool included with SQL Server. With improvements to the core SSIS processing engine in SQL Server 2008, and improvements in 64-bit connectivity, we decided to take SSIS out for a spin, to show what it could really do. Along the way, we and Unisys set a new world record for loading over 1 TB of data in under 30 minutes, beating a previous result posted by Informatica. Check out Len Wyatt’s more detailed blog post on this. We’d sure love to see the industry come together to create a standardized ETL benchmark workload.

Lastly, some leading ISVs put SQL Server 2008 through its paces, and were very pleased with the result:

  • Camstar showed world-record scale of 205 MES transactions/second and 60% space reduction when using SQL Server 2008’s database compression on Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 demonstrated record scale at 24,000 concurrent users, with sub-second response rate, using SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008
  • Siemens Teamcenter 2007, SQL Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 ran with 5,000 concurrent users, and 50% space reduction from database compression
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX showed up to 70% improvement in throughput scalability and response time, maximizing performance while reducing database growth using SQL Server 2008 and database compression

Look for even more performance gains in the final SQL Server CTP, before we ship this summer!