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SQL Server 2000 First to Pass W2K Datacenter Certification

Microsoft Corp. is first to cross the application certification finish line for the new Windows 2000 Datacenter Server certification program with its own SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition database software.

The fast finish saves Microsoft the embarrassment it suffered earlier in the process when other vendors earned the logo from the independent contractor conducting the tests for Microsoft, Veritest, before Microsoft applications could pass. Meanwhile, test documents confirm earlier rumors that Microsoft was having trouble getting SQL Server to scale to 32 processors.

The Windows 2000 Datacenter Server certification is the final and most demanding piece of the new Windows 2000 certification logo program. With Windows 2000, Microsoft scrapped the old logo program used with Windows NT and BackOffice for a much stricter standard.

Applications gaining the Windows 2000 certification had to adhere to a number of design specifications. Almost all applications that ran on Windows NT can run on Windows 2000. But Microsoft intended only for a few applications to achieve the higher standard required for the new Windows 2000 logo.

As of today, eight applications have passed the Windows 2000 Advanced Server test, 58 applications have passed the Windows 2000 Server test, and 90 applications have passed the Windows 2000 Professional test.

The Windows 2000 Datacenter Server logo is even more difficult to get than the other Windows 2000 logos. The applications must install and run on a 32-processor system, must run in high physical address extension memory (above 4 GB), must operate correctly under control of Job Objects, must demonstrate stability under stress, and the vendor must provide a 24X7 support center for customers.

According to the certification results document posted on the Veritest Web site, the SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition results were reported on Nov. 29, almost exactly three months after Veritest opened its Los Angeles lab to Datacenter Server certification testing.

A footnote in the document confirms earlier reports that Microsoft was having difficulty getting SQL Server 2000 to scale across the 32 processors that Datacenter Server can handle. The report notes that: “As tested, SQL Server 2000 required a patch to be downloaded and applied on systems exceeding 20 CPUs. The next service pack release of SQL Server will include this patch, though in the interim a hotfix is available.”

No mention is made in the results document about whether the product was tested in the four-node cluster configurations that are possible in Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

SQL Server 2000 gained certification on Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server in July. IBM managed to beat Microsoft to the punch by publicly announcing certification of its DB2 database software on Microsoft’s own Windows 2000 platform and certification test before Microsoft could get word out about SQL Server.

Oracle Corp., Microsoft’s most bitter rival in database software, has shown no intention of seeking Microsoft’s blessing through the certification process.

Some industry observers contend that the new Windows 2000 logo program will carry its greatest significance among Windows 2000 Datacenter Server customers, who tend to weigh service and support as much as system performance in their decisions. – Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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