If your looking for presentations, demos, hands-on labs and videos to help you better understand SQL Server 2008 R2, then check out the Developers Training Kit. This is a great resource for a wide range of SQL Server topics.
Dan English put up a blog post on his experiences with installing Gemini. His post is loaded with screen shots and walks you through the install. He then has a few screen shots of Gemini in action. Dan also includes several links that you can access for additional information on Project Gemini.
Check out Dan’s blog as he has put up several posts on SQL Server R2 CTPs.
I attended this years PASS Summit in Seattle and it turned out to be a great event. Many of the sessions I attended were standing room only. During the first Keynote, the presenter showed off a few new features in Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is the code name for the next release of Microsoft SQL Server and scheduled for release the first half of 2010. This release will have heavy focus on BI functionality.
As you may recall, earlier this summer Microsoft purchased DATAAllegro which was well known for their data warehouse appliance. Well, in Kilimanjaro, Microsoft is incorporating several enhancements based off of the DATAAllegro technologies into SQL Server. The project code name for this is Madison. With this initiative, they will be targeting data warehouses greater than 1TB.
The other major feature is code named Project Gemini which is an all in memory extension to Analysis Services – at least that is my understanding. The demo they showed was incredibly impressive. They created a model with 10 million rows in excel and were sorting and pivoting in fractions of a second…all running on a laptop. This model could be saved to a SharePoint site and therefore accessed quickly and easily by other team members. I didn’t hear anything mentioned with regards to write back being implemented with Gemini but will be very interesting to see if it is.