SQL Server 2008 R2 would be released in different flavor never heard before, and it is called SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse which was earlier known as Project Madison. This flavor of SQL Server 2008 is unique and first one of its kind. Some of the points that make it unique are as follows:
1) This version of SQL Server can't be bought as an independent piece of software, it has to be bought along with the hardware.
2) Hardware would generally consist of one controller node, and rest of the compute nodes (3 minimum). This controller node would manage requests and route it to compute nodes. Also the licensing for installation of SQL Server on each node is on a per CPU basis, which means that minimum 4 licenses would have to be procured.
3) To the best of my knowledge, I read somewhere that SQL Server 2008 Parallel Data warehouse edition would cost above $57,000, so consider the price of the same for minimum 3 compute node CPUs. Also the rest of the software and integration and controlling would cost extra. Add to this the installation and consulting fees that one needs to house for maintaining this setup.
Clustering brings concurrency to the system and reduces load, but it can't reduce the time that a single query would take without any resource latency. To break this barrier, parallelism would be required to execute bits of the same request simultaneously and this is what exactly this setup would bring to the table. SQL Server can also run queries in parallel, but in a data warehouse it would be interesting to see how parallelism is being brought, and claims are that queries that takes hours would come down to as low as minutes. Massive Parallel Processing is claimed to be obtained thru this implementation, and the architecture would be hub-and-spoke.
By partnering with vendors like HP and IBM who are some of the leading runners in providing hardware required for different kinds of data warehouse setups, Microsoft has created a unique kind of sales package leveraging business for themselves and it's partners. This idea can be used even by solution providers organizations by partnering with local or international hardware vendors, and coming out with a sales package that incorporates end-to-end data warehouse development in addition to specialized hardware setup as a single package. Fast Track Data warehouse is a nice start up architecture where solution providers can make a start for a similar package offering.
More information on this setup can be read from this data sheet.