SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP (Community Technology Preview) is available for testing. The official release is slated for the Q2 of 2010. I am in the process of testing the new features….
The SQL Server 2008 R2 (version 10.50) contains multiple projects one of which was previously called Project Kilimanjaro and was first announced at the 2008 SQL PASS Conference in Seattle. The main utility was then called Operations Manager which would allow monitoring and management of many SQL Servers from a central point. It has now evolved into the “SQL Server Utility”. I presume we’ll start calling this the SSU. With the SSU, you can create a Utility Control Point (UCP) on a SQL 2008 R2 instance which contains the central repository for configuration and performance data for many servers enrolled via the UCP.
In SQL Server 2008 we had the Data Collector that would produce a central repository for performance data for a single SQL Server. The repository was called a Management Data Warehouse (MDW) and produced attractive reports based on server and query performance. Now the model has been extended through the SSU to support many managed instances from the UCP with the central repository called a Utility Management Data Warehouse (UMDW). You can also set up resource utilization policies so you can control the monitoring of performance on the enrolled servers. You can monitor both data-tier applications or managed instances.
CTP documentation lets us know that the UCP and managed instances must be SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition. Hopefully, by the time the product is released it will support managed servers for down-level servers and different editions. Presumably the requirements will stick for the UCP but allow monitoring of legacy servers (including 2008).
I’ve written a whitepaper on the new features of R2 that is available on the GK web site at: