I went to install SQL Server 2008 on a Windows Server 2008 R2 box today for the first time and was greeted with the error “You must use the Role Management Tool to install or configure Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.”  The text of this error was basically about as decipherable as the voice of the adults in the old Peanuts cartoons, so I fired up my old friend Google to find out what to really do.  It seems that Windows Server 2008 R2 ships with .NET Framework 3.5.1 and in order to proceed, you need to go to Server Manager (that window that pops up when you login and stays unless you close it) and enable (really, install) the .NET Framework 3.5.1 and any prerequisites.

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Last week Microsoft released CTP3 for SQL Server 2008 R2.  At first blush, it doesn’t sound like it should be a huge release.  It is really a minor version release (10.5) as the next major release is scheduled to be SQL Server 2011, so one would expect to see maybe some additional or increased functionality, but not really any huge changes. 

 

As it turns out, there are some additional features with this release, but the big change is coming in the editions and pricing of SQL Server.  Microsoft is adding two additional “premium” editions of SQL Server, Datacenter Edition and Parallel Data Warehouse Edition, which are not only going to be more expensive than the Enterprise Edition, but will be required to take advantage of some of the key features of SQL Server 2008 R2, such as multi-server management of more than 25 instances, StreamInsight (complex event processing), Star Join Queries and parallel database copy (Parallel Data Warehouse Edition). 

 

The retail pricing for these two new “premium” editions are both set at $57,498 per processor, with no option for per server plus CAL pricing.  Enterprise Edition pricing is set at $28,749 per processor or $13,969 per server with 25 CALs, while Standard Edition pricing is set at $7,499 per processor or $1,849 with 25 CALs.

 

The Enterprise Edition will be required to take advantage of new features such as PowerPivot, multi-server management of up to 25 instances and Master Data Services.

 

As part of SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has announced that features such as backup data compression (which can reduce the size of backups by up to 60%) will be available in the Standard Edition where it was previously only available in Enterprise Edition.