Microsoft will release a new Windows Server product and a new SQL Server release next year. Windows Server 2008 (formerly ‘Longhorn’) should release in Q1 of CY2008 whereas SQL Server 2008 (formerly ‘Katmai’) will be released in summer CY2008. As usual pre-released versions of Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 already are used intensively in Microsoft’s IT running productive systems in Microsoft’s effort of testing their own products under rigid production conditions before releasing products. Like with all SQL Server releases in the last 10 years, Microsoft IT already runs part of their SAP landscape on CTP builds of SQL Server 2008 with the plan to move the productive 4.5TB SAP ERP system to SQL Server 2008 CTP6 in February 2008 to the latest available CTP of SQL Server 2008. Workload tests conducted so far by Microsoft IT on SQL server 2008 look extremely positive at this point in time in terms of performance and reliability.
SAP plans to support the new Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 releases as soon as possible to the release of the products by Microsoft. SAP already runs a Beta Program for Windows Server 2008 which is described in detail in SAP OSS note #1054740. With this Beta program SAP allows every customer running on SQL Server 2005 and x64 the usage of Windows Server 2008 Beta3 on their Test and Development systems. The OSS note mentioned above describes exact steps and changed software components needed by SAP.
The Windows Server 2008 support by SAP so far is planned for SAP products based on Netweaver 7.0 (formerly Netweaver 2004S) and later releases and 64Bit only. The same is true for SQL Server 2008. SAP plans to support 64Bit releases only in combination with Netweaver 7.0 based products or later releases of SAP software. It is not planned by SAP to support 32Bit SQL Server 2008 versions. At this point in time it is not planned to support older SAP releases with SQL Server 2008. As with Windows Server 2008, SAP and Microsoft are planning to setup a Beta Program in February 2008 based on CTP6 of SQL Server 2008. As with the Windows Beta program, the SQL Server 2008 centric program will allow customers to leverage SQL Server 2008 CTP6 and later pre-releases on their Test, Development and Sandbox systems.
No question remaining hopefully, except the one. What is a CTP? Introducing a new system how to develop future releases of SQL Server, we (SQL Server Development) decided to move away from releasing 2 or 3 Beta releases publically, but to release so called Community Technical Previews on a more frequent manner. Thanks to the new engineering system we applied in SQL Server Development these technical previews provide full developed new features for early testing and trial already. The latest CTP can be found on https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/content/content.aspx?ContentID=5395