Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

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SQL Server 2008 R2 has long been a favorite of Microsoft’s enterprise relational database platform series. As an upgrade to the SQL Server 2008 platform, SQL Server 2008 R2 comes at a higher price point.

SQL Server 2008 R2 exited its extended-support period in July 2019. This version of Microsoft's server-based database platform is no longer available for purchase and is so old that it's no longer receiving updates even for enterprise support agreements. We recommend exploring SQL Server 2019 or some more modern version of the platform. We retain the contents of this article for its historical value only.

The Various Editions of SQL Server 2008 R2

This version of the server platform shipped under several different feature SKUs:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition replaces the Microsoft Data Engine as the free version of SQL Server for application development and lightweight use. It remains free and retains the limitations of MSDE with respect to client connections and performance. It’s a great tool for developing and testing applications and extremely small implementations, but that’s about as far as you can run with it.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Workgroup is billed as a “small business SQL Server” and it offers an impressive array of functionality for a price tag per processor or available under a 5-user license. Workgroup edition maxes out at two CPUs with 3 GB of RAM and allows for most of the functionality you’d expect from a server-based relational database. It offers limited replication capabilities as well.
  • The workhorse SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition remains the staple of the product line for serious database applications. It can handle up to four CPUs with an unlimited amount of RAM. Standard Edition 2005 introduces database mirroring and integration services.
  • SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition is now more limited than in the past. It previously supported unlimited processors but is now capped at eight CPUs. It's also more expensive than it was before but has discounted options for 25 users.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition supports up to 256 logical processors and provides high-end scalability. Datacenter edition provides access to SQL Server's multiserver administration tools and allows the use of unlimited memory.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Edition provides an appliance-based solution for highly scalable data warehouse applications. It supports the standard hub-and-spoke data warehouse architecture.
  • Developers who need the full features of SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition for use in a non-production environment may find SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer Edition the right tool for the job. This product has the exact same functionality as Enterprise Edition and only differs in the license. Microsoft also offers a direct upgrade path to convert Developer servers to production licensing
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Web is a specialized version of SQL Server for use in web hosting environments. Like Standard edition, it has no limitations on the amount of memory used and supports the use of up to four CPUs.
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Compact is a free version of SQL Server for use in embedded environments, such as mobile devices and other Windows systems.
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Chapple, Mike. "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2." ThoughtCo, Jun. 8, 2022, Chapple, Mike. (2022, June 8). Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Retrieved from Chapple, Mike. "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).