Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brief history of Microsoft SQL Server

Just got curious about the entire history of how SQL server evolved since its birth. Here is a short blog reflecting the research.

For an interesting story on how SQL server evolved, please refer the document History of SQL Server.

A brief history of SQL Server is available in the table below (along with the relevant links to corresponding resources):


SQL Server Version

Code Name


SQL Server 2012



SQL Server 2008 R2

Kilimanjaro (aka KJ)


SQL Azure

Matrix (aka CloudDB)


SQL Server 2008



SQL Server Integration Services (formerly Data Transformation Services)


SQL Server 2005



SQL Server 2000 Reporting Service


SQL Server 2000 (64-bit Edition)



SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services



SQL Server 2000


SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services (including Data Transformation Services)



SQL Server 7.0



SQL Server 6.5



SQL Server 6.0



SQL Server 4.2 (32 bit Edition)



SQL Server 1.1


SQL Server 1.0 (16bit)

Ashton-Tate/Microsoft SQL Server

Also details of some of the specific release dates and build numbers are available on MSDN link.

Some guidelines on upgrade paths (till SQL Server 2008 R2) are available on MSDN here.

More technical details about each version is available here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How much a private cloud costs?

Microsoft recently showcased the power of its private cloud in a TechEd event in North America, by building one onsite and running Hands on Lab on it. It included hardware mostly from Microsoft’s partner HP, and Microsoft Software stack. The video for the same is available here.
To get a better understanding of this private cloud (in terms of cost), we did a simple cost analysis of hardware infrastructure used for developing such a datacenter. This includes a simple blade system based datacenter, capable of serving around 1500 client systems. The datacenter hosts a huge number of virtual machines (VMs) which are in fact the pre-configured environment for Hands on Lab (HOL) for learning different technologies. These HOLs can be accessed by each of the client systems as and when required. Upon request, a copy of the VM is sent to the client machine, which becomes the personal copy for that client, but still running on the powerful servers of the Datacenter only. No actual processing is done at client's end, except for simple Internet Explorer based application sending and receiving the request to and from the datacenter.
Following are the rough figures explaining the hardware infrastructure along with cost estimate of the private cloud.
Sample Private Cloud Datacenter configuration and cost:
Blade Enclosure Unit
HP BladeSystem c7000 Enclosure with Flex-Fabric
HP BladeSystemOnboard Administrator
-Enclosure Management
-Flex Fabric Management
-HP Integrated Lights-Out (ILO)
Blade Server
HP Proliant BL460c G7 Server Blade (model considered : HP BL460c G7 L5640 1P Svr (603256-B21)
-16 Server blades
-2P * 6 cores
-128 GB RAM
-2*146 GB HDD
-BL460c G7 - 128 GB RAM
$333,180 per blade * 16 = $5,330,880
HP IO Accelerator Card in each Blade (320 GB)
- Solid State Disk PCI Card
- 145,000 IOPS
- Read: 750 MB/s
- Write: 550 MB/s
-Sizes (GB): 640 or 320
$ 9,719 per Blade * 16 =
SAN Disks
HP Storageworks 4400 EVA Fibre Channel SAN
- 4/8 Gbps Fibre Channel
-Dual Controllers
-Dual Embedded SAN Switches
$13,839.20 including 8 HDDs
Additional HDD
- 40 * 300 GB 15K RPM Disks
$1,491 * 40
= $59,640
HP FlexFabric Network
- Converged Infrastructure
-Virtual Connect Technology
-4/8 Gbps Fibre Channel
-1/10 Gbps Ethernet
Varies depending on infrastructure location and size
The total Infrastructure cost for this sample Private cloud datacenter turns out to be ~$5,585,161. The cost for software, installation, maintenance and upgrades would be further added to get the complete TCO for a private cloud.
This private cloud provides many benefits like scalability, self service capabilities, high customization, security, and reduced operational costs. So for the enterprises investing billions of dollars for their Infrastructure, this seems to be a reasonable price for all the benefits they gain, but for medium and small industries, this seems to be an investment into the unforeseen future.
(These are just indicative price taken from the mentioned sources. In case of any concerns/discrimination in price or product, or the calculations at any place, we are open for corrections. Do let us know your feedback for the same.)

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