SQL Server 2012 Hits RTM, Set for General Release in April

SQL Server 2012, Microsoft's newest relational database management system, hit the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone on Tuesday. Evaluation copies can be downloaded at this link.

"General availability" is scheduled for April 1, said Doug Leland, general manager of Microsoft's business platform marketing group, in a phone interview on Monday. SQL Server 2012 has already been "battle tested" by around 150,000 customers, he said. Microsoft customers, partners and executives will present more details about the product on Wednesday, during a SQL Server 2012 "launch event."

As with other products, Microsoft is changing the licensing basis from processors to cores, based on a minimum of four cores per processor. The licensing limits are 16 cores for the BI and Standard editions. According to Microsoft, "for SQL Server Enterprise Edition when licensed under Server + CAL, a single instance cannot use more than 20 cores." The company is currently working on enhancing its Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit to make it easier for organizations to estimate the licensing changes, according to Tom Bartlett, director of SQL Server pricing and licensing, at a SQL Server 2012 workshop event held last month. (For more on the licensing changes, see "Microsoft Reveals SQL Server 2012 Licensing Model.")

SQL Server 2012, when released, can be self-built, based on reference architecture or purchased as an appliance. Microsoft recommends the HP Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance, which is currently available. The appliance will be updated when System Center 2012 ships, according to Darmadi Komo, senior technical product manager for SQL Server 2012, at the workshop event. System Center 2012 is currently at the release candidate stage, with expectations for release in April.

Microsoft's messaging has stayed constant for this release. The company is touting SQL Server 2012's ability to handle "mission critical" operations in terms of performance, scale, security, high availability and disaster recovery. Additionally, Microsoft claims that SQL Server 2012 users have access to the "cloud on your terms" -- either private clouds (via virtualization and management) or public clouds (via SQL Azure). The management part of the private cloud deployments is linked to System Center 2012, where it is possible to deploy private clouds using a wizard in Virtual Machine Manager.

For more details about the SQL Server 2012 RTM, read "First Look: Inside SQL Server 2012."

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About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.