Last week at the SQL PASS Community Summit, Microsoft released SQL Server code name “Denali” CTP 1 (Community Technology Preview). Unfortunately, many of the cool new features are not available in this release, but you can begin to work with improvements in SSMS, SSIS, and Full-Text Search and with new features, like Column-based Query Accelerator, Contained Databases (CDBs) and some of the emerging HADRON features (High Availability, Disaster Recovery, Always On).
What should be clear to you if you being looking at Denali is that there is definitely a learning curve, and you should start now to get familiar with the new features. I expect the next CTP to have a lot more “meat” to it, and it is going to take you some real-time to get up-to-speed with the terminology and functionality of the new features, especially HADRON.
If you haven’t yet, I highly suggest you get a copy of CTP1 and start playing with it. This should shorten your learning curve when CTP2 is released in the next few months.