REDMOND, Wash., March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that the latest version of the world's most widely deployed data platform, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, has released to manufacturing. SQL Server 2012 helps address the challenges of increasing data volumes by rapidly turning data into actionable business insights. Expanding on Microsoft's commitment to help customers manage any data, regardless of size, both on-premises and in the cloud, the company today also disclosed additional details regarding its plans to release an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure.
"Data is being generated faster than ever before, and organizations need a way to process and analyze all that data," said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president at Microsoft. "Whatever the type or size of data, SQL Server 2012 delivers the platform and familiar tools to manage data, generate actionable insights and help drive business impact."
SQL Server 2012: Proven Capability
SQL Server 2012 has already been deployed for production use by hundreds of global, industry-leading customers, such as Volvo Car Corp., Revlon, the HSN, Sanofi Pasteur, Klout and LG Chemical. Customers choosing SQL Server 2012 enjoy the benefit of a rich hardware and software partner ecosystem that can create solutions for the most unique and demanding data management needs.
"Our business depends on delivering customers fast, detailed insight into hundreds of terabytes of social-network data," said David Mariani, vice president of Engineering at Klout, a leading provider of influence measurement. "With SQL Server 2012 and integrated business intelligence tools, we're processing massive volumes of data queries in near-real time. Microsoft's data platform has continued to advance and help us keep up with the evolving world of data."
Tackling Big Data
IT research firm Gartner estimates that the volume of global data is growing at a rate of 59 percent per year, with 70 to 85 percent in unstructured form.* Furthering its commitment to connect SQL Server and rich business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPivot for Excel 2010 and Power View, with unstructured data, Microsoft announced plans to release an additional limited preview of an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure in the first half of 2012.
Since the first limited preview released in December, customers such as Webtrends and the University of Dundee are using the Hadoop-based service to glean simple, actionable insights from complex data sets hosted in the cloud. Customers interested in signing up for the latest preview should visit http://www.hadooponazure.com.
Continued Improvements, New Levels of Return on Investment
To help customers more cost-effectively manage their enterprise-scale workloads, Microsoft will release several new data warehousing solutions in conjunction with the general availability of SQL Server 2012, slated to begin April 1. This includes a major software update and new half-rack form factors for Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse appliances, as well as availability of SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse reference architectures for SQL Server 2012.
In addition, Microsoft is releasing results from a new Microsoft-commissioned Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact study on the potential benefits of upgrading to SQL Server 2012. The study reports a potential return on investment of up to 189 percent with a 12-month payback period.
Microsoft and partners also announced today that SQL Server 2012 has demonstrated new record-breaking performance benchmarks through partner- and Microsoft-led testing that underscores SQL Server's ability to scale across the enterprise.
Those interested can find more information about today's announcements or download an evaluation copy of SQL Server 2012 at the SQL Server virtual press kit.
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*Gartner Symposium Presentation, Information Management Goes "Extreme": The Biggest Challenges for 21st-Century CIOs, Mark Beyer, October 2011
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