Today, businesses are increasingly facing a “data deluge,” as the complexity and volume of data grows steadily. Meanwhile, IT continues to grapple with how to manage, store that data, as well as unlock the valuable business insights that data holds.  That’s why last November Microsoft released SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) – a complete, high-scale data warehousing solution that enterprises can use to manage and enable self-service business intelligence across the company with SQL Server.  Today, we are excited to announce that PDW is taking several significant steps forward.

The first step forward is the release of our second Appliance Update (AU2) to PDW that delivers richer programmability, plus four new connectors for heterogeneous BI & ETL (Extract, Load and Transform) environments.  Unlike Service Packs, an Appliance Update refreshes the full appliance seamlessly with both hardware and software updates.  Released just four months after Appliance Update 1, Microsoft is rapidly responding to customer needs on the most demanding Data Warehouses, delivering features most requested by customers such as multi-statement batches, T-SQL variables, temporary tables, conditional logic and control flow statements.  Thanks to deep integration with the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack, Parallel Data Warehouse already offers the most complete data warehouse solution. Appliance Update 2 extends this by introducing new connectors for SAP Business Objects and Informatica, enabling customers to use Parallel Data Warehouse seamlessly in heterogeneous BI and ETL environments.  In addition, MicroStrategy also has certified high speed connectors for PDW.  Customers can now leverage existing investments while scaling their data warehouses at unbeatable price-performance with PDW.

Microsoft is also proud to announce the release of the Dell Parallel Data Warehouse appliance, offering customers more hardware choice thanks to a strategic alliance between Microsoft and Dell. With the new Dell appliance scaling beyond 600 TB with an affordable starting price under $12K per TB, customers can now enjoy massive scalability and performance at low cost on a platform they know and trust, while also receiving white glove service through Microsoft’s Critical Advantage Program (MCAP), an enhanced support service for appliances.  In addition, Microsoft Enterprise Services and Dell Services will provide consulting for architectural design and implementation of the PDW solution to meet customer-specific requirements.  For more information on Dell’s PDW appliance, visit

In the data deluge faced by businesses, there is also an increasing need to store and analyze vast amounts of unstructured data including data from sensors, devices, bots and crawlers. By many accounts, almost 80% of what businesses store is unstructured data – and this volume is predicted to grow exponentially over the next decade.  We have entered the age of Big Data. Our customers have been asking us to help store, manage, and analyze both structured and unstructured data – in particular, data stored in Hadoop environments.  As a first step, we will soon release a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of two new Hadoop connectors – one for SQL Server and one for PDW.  The connectors provide interoperability between SQL Server/PDW and Hadoop environments, enabling customers to transfer data between Hadoop and SQL Server/PDW.  With these connectors, customers can more easily integrate Hadoop with their Microsoft Enterprise Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence solutions to gain deeper business insights from both structured and unstructured data.

With a scalable set of Data Warehousing offerings including SQL Server 2008 R2, Reference Architectures and Data Warehouse appliances, Microsoft enables customers to gain business insights from increasingly large and diverse data sets.  The world of data is evolving and Microsoft is committed to helping our customers navigate those changes successfully. We look forward to your feedback on these updates and connectors!

Learn more by visiting SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse.