Some things just
really work well together. Peanut butter and chocolate. Abbot and Costello.
Coffee and…well…anything. You get the idea. But there are some real advantages
in using SQL Server 2008 (and of course the upcoming SQL Server 2008 R2
release) with Windows Server 2008 and higher. It’s not just that they are both
better than their predecessors, SQL Server actually takes advantage of the
improvements in Windows Server 2008.
example is in how Windows Server 2008 handles the infamous “drive offset”. This
is a small block size movement from the first part of the hard drive sectors –
it’s an internal thing – but it causes real issues with software that exercises
the I/O subsystem, and makes its own calls there. Like SQL Server. In the past,
the data professional had to follow a process called “Partition Alignment”, and
this had to be done when the system was set up. That’s all now a thing of the
past – with SQL Server 2008 and Windows 2008 Server, this just happens.
Another example is
in how Windows 2008 Server deals with the “sliding TCP/IP window”. This
enhancement directly affects how fast SQL Server can send large frames of data
– especially with Replication and large binary objects. At Microsoft we noticed
tremendous speed gains just by moving to Windows 2008 Server.
There are lots of
other examples – from new virtualization and consolidation changes in both
products to clustering enhancements, and now in SQL Server 2008 R2 the ability
to run the “sysprep” utility after SQL Server has been
You can read more about this “pairing effect” in this White
And be sure to check out John
Kelbley’s Post on the Windows Server blog where he also talks about ways
that SQL Server and Windows Server work “Better Together”.