SQL Server will influence business strategy

11 Nov 2005

Microsoft’s new release of SQL Server 2005 will play a fundamental role in influencing business and technology strategies in terms of faster reporting times and combined business and IT intelligence that enable firms to gain better control of their business, Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) worldwide director of Windows on Itanium engineering told

Neil MacDonald said the latest version of SQL server raises the bar in terms of scalability and performance and “helps Microsoft remove a glass ceiling in the server world in terms of bringing Windows to the mainframe world”.

SQL Server 2005 provides an integrated data management and analysis platform that helps organisations manage mission-critical information and confidently run complex business applications. It includes embedded reporting and data analysis tools to enable firms gain greater insight from their business information.

According to Andy Lees, corporate vice-president of server and tools at Microsoft, the new software was developed with broad industry support. Supporting vendors included: Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, NEC, Hitachi and Unisys.

HP’s Neil MacDonald said the new technology will enable IT systems to cope with the availability of larger applications and can be configured using business intelligence to give IT managers a deeper view of systems. He added the new SQL server will boost the speed of development of new applications.

“Effectively it will enable business managers and IT managers to make more strategic decisions. It takes knowledge and control of a business and its technology to a whole new level.” He cited the example of US bookstore giant Barnes & Noble, which has deployed SQL Server 2005 on a HP Super Dome server as well as music retailer HMV, which is using SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 to power its next-generation online music store.

“The technology will enable chief information officers to tie together multiple servers worldwide onto one infrastructure and consolidate their IT spend,” MacDonald said, indicating that the SQL Server 2005 technology has been tested and proven capable of handling more than 93,000 concurrent users on a system with SAP applications.

In Ireland SQL Server 2005 was rolled out at the Irish operations of US medical devices player Stryker International, which employs 1,000 people in two sites in Cork and Limerick. According to Rachel Wycherley, sales manager at Microsoft partner firm PM Centrix, which implemented the migration from SQL Server 2000 to the 2005 version at Stryker’s Irish operations, the system has resulted in reducing the compilation of an IT systems report from a standard of 40 hours down to two hours and has removed IT bottlenecks from the network.

PM Centrix, she added, also rolled out a performance tracker tool for the company’s workers, a business intelligence system that provides management at Stryker in Ireland with a balanced scorecard based view of how the company is performing. Based on the performance of the SQL Server 2005 solutions in Ireland, Stryker International will roll out the technology across its US$22bn worldwide operations.

Wycherley’s colleague, PM Centrix managing director Donal Olden commented that the technology “indicates the power going back to the people in terms of visibility of the performance of their business and the performance of the company’s technology in terms of various metrics and key performance indicators”.

By John Kennedy