SAP have announced full support of SQL 2008 R2
SAP has announced the full General Availability and Unrestricted Support for SQL 2008 R2 as of 16th September 2010. OSS Note 1076022 has been updated with the following text:
SQL Server 2008 R2
In release SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft added a number of new SQL Server Business Intelligence features, which are not SAP related. On the other hand, the Relational Database Engine remained relatively unchanged. Since the SAP Application Server does not utilize any of the new Business Intelligence features, we do not treat SQL Server 2008 R2 as a separate SQL Server release.
This means that you will not find explicit SQL Server 2008 R2 entries in the Product Availability Matrix. Instead, the SQL Server 2008 entries automatically declare both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 support.
For customers with a valid SQL Server runtime license, the SQL Server 2008 R2 media will replace the old SQL Server 2008 media in the same way as a new Service Pack of SQL Server 2008 would.
We will continue to fully support SQL Server 2008 according to the PAM. Any SAP release that currently supports SQL Server 2008 will in the future support both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2.
The key point to note is that SQL 2008 and SQL 2008 R2 share the same release status and information contained in the SAP Product Availability Matrix (called the PAM). This means that if a SAP product is supported on SQL 2008, it is also supported on SQL 2008 R2.
SQL 2008 R2 offers some significant benefits for SAP customers. We highly recommend customers with large systems or Unicode systems move to SQL 2008 R2 to benefit from these features.
We explained in an earlier blog post about UCS-2 Compression and its benefits. Testing has shown that customers can save an additional ~20% storage space by using UCS-2 Compression. Another blog post discusses how to UCS-2 compress an existing system. However we strongly recommend customers implement OSS Note 1488135 and OSS Note 1459005 and use the MSSCOMPRESS program to compress tables. We will post a blog soon with some screenshots showing how to do compression step by step. Please note that both table data and secondary index PAGE compression is fully supported. Customer pilots have shown that a typical SAP on Oracle 10g customer will be compressed about 80% on SQL 2008 R2. Therefore if a customer was 10TB on Oracle they would be ~2TB on SQL Server R2. Customer Pilot projects have shown no negative performance impact due to PAGE compression, in many cases performance actually improves due to lower disk IO and improved Cache Hit Ratios.
Previously UTF-8 format database such as Oracle had a slight storage efficiency advantage over SQL Server for Unicode data. The difference between UCS-2/UTF-16 and UTF-8 is explained in this document from SAP – SAP Unicode Technical Overview. See page 8 figure 8.
Important Note : OSS Note 1139646 states that SQL Server storage requirements can increase up to 60% after Unicode conversion. This number has never been observed on any real customer system (we have monitored dozens of Unicode conversions) and is false even prior to SQL 2008 R2 and the introduction of Unicode compression. It is recommended to disregard the information in OSS note 1139646.
Support for 256 CPU cores
Windows 2008 and SQL 2008 have a limit of 64 threads. Modern Intel and AMD CPU have 8-12 cores already available today and Intel Processors also use Hyperthreading. This means each CPU core is “presented” to the operating system as two “Logical threads”. A quick calculation shows that a modern 4 Processor HP server such as the DL580 G7 is already 64 threads. 4 Processor x 8cores per CPU x Hyperthreading = 64. Therefore we have increased the maximum threads Windows 2008 R2 support to 256. SQL 2008 R2 supports 256 threads as well.