At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Los Angeles yesterday, Bill Laing—Microsoft's corporate vice president, Windows Server and Solutions Division—announced in his keynote address that Windows Server R2, along with Microsoft SQL Server “Kilimanjaro,” will increase the number of supported logical processors from 64 to 256 (with support from leading hardware vendors HP, IBM, and Intel). Support for greater-than-64-processor computing provides customers the choice to consolidate more data sources while maintaining similar or improved performance and scalability. Check out Microsoft's PressPass Q&A with Laing.

Also released during the event were customer testimonials demonstrating the scalability of SQL Server 2008. The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is one of the more impressive SQL Server 2008 customers, essentially warehousing the heavens, taking images of all available sky several times a month looking for asteroids and comets that could pose a danger to Earth. Pan-STARRS is currently collecting 1.4 terabytes of data daily with the plan to scale up to 1 petabyte and is one of a handful of organizations in the world managing a database of this size.

Daggett Research Group, a world-renowned protein research lab at the University of Washington, relies on computer simulations that generate massive amounts of data to be analyzed. The lab has already produced more than 64 terabytes of data and is generating an additional 15 terabytes a year. The research group is also taking advantage of the relational and online analytical processing (OLAP) capabilities of SQL Server, and has been able to attack problems in new ways and accelerate the rate of progress with the ability to examine slices of data in seconds, a process that used to take hours.

Visit the Microsoft WinHEC 2008 Virtual Press room for more information