According to Microsoft, over 100,000 people downloaded the CTPs (Community Technology Previews) leading up to the release, the feedback from which has been put into the release candidate.
“SQL Server 2012 RC is the first release which is feature complete and represents an exciting milestone for customers and partners looking to experience the full value of SQL Server 2012” said the team. “As the foundation of the cloud-ready information platform, SQL Server 2012 will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization as well quickly build solutions and extend data across on-premises and public cloud backed by mission critical confidence.”
There are a number of improvements in SQL Server 2012 that enterprises and developers alike will be interested in. It includes “AlwaysOn” technology, which permits multiple readable database secondary servers for reporting and backup workloads as well as support for high availability in complex data types. It also has some significant speed boosts, CPU usage controls, Resource Governor for multi-tenancy environments and predictable resource allocation for these scenarios.
The RC is available today for anyone looking to have a go with all of the headline features in a production-ready package.