Microsoft has released to manufacturing (RTM) its SQL Server 2012 database, and said it plans a further preview of its Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure, both part of the company's strategy to tackle the growing need for big data tools from customers.
With the RTM milestone, customers and partners can download an evaluation version of SQL Server 2012 now, and can expect general availability of the product from 1 April.
Microsoft claimed that with this release, SQL Server is now more scalable, more reliable and delivers greater performance than ever before. The move follows a Release Candidate version made available in November 2011.
The RTM version includes for the first time Microsoft's Power View, a business intelligence data visualisation tool, as part of Microsoft's promise to deliver a set of tools to help analyse both structured and unstructured data.
"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," said Microsoft corporate vice president Ted Kummert.
Microsoft also announced solutions around the new SQL Server, including Fast Track for SQL Server 2012, a reference architecture optimised for performance that combines its database platform with the latest servers and storage from Microsoft partners.
Also announced was an updated version of Microsoft's SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, which is designed for delivery on pre-configured data appliance hardware.
The AU3 update features a performance boost of up to 10 times, according to Microsoft, and will be available from vendors such as Dell and HP from Q3 2012.
Meanwhile, Microsoft said it will also release a further preview of its Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure sometime in the first half of 2012, following the limited preview release back in December.
As well as opening up the preview to more testers, Microsoft said this release will include the Mahout open source library for building predictive analytics applications and provide greater resilience with disaster recovery support for the HDFS Name Node.
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