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Both SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 offer improved scalability, manageability, security and performance when consolidating SQL Server instances and databases.
With Enterprise Edition -- specifically x64 -- the two products support up to 50 instances and 16 nodes within a failover cluster.
Finally, Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM), a feature in Windows Server 2008, can be leveraged to partition and manage consolidated resources, which is a useful tool when consolidating.
These units can be a separate server or host, virtualize, logical or physical partitions within the same server or host.
An instance is configured through an instance profile.
An underutilized SQL Server can result in increased hardware and management costs, lack of standardization and other challenges associated with business continuity.
Fortunately, by using SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008, organizations can successfully address the issues associated with underutilization by consolidating SQL Server instances and databases onto fewer physical or virtual servers.
When the application instance and database instance do not share the same hardware resources, then the instance is known as a “Distributed System” setup.