The Lowdown on SQL Server 2014

SQL Server 2014Forty-six percent of the databases deployed worldwide are now SQL Server, according to Microsoft officials. Even if that’s exaggerated, it’s hard to ignore the market impact of SQL Server, and certainly exciting to hear about the new features that have been revealed for the company’s new release.

SQL Server 2014 is expected to ship early next year, with a preview due out mid-June, within days. So what will change with SQL Server 2014? A few upgrades, more integration options across Microsoft tools, all good things.

Big Stuff

Many tech blogs have been talking about the “Hekaton,” the engine that will enable in-memory OLTP (online translation processing)  in the new SQL Server. These new technologies are being designed to complement existing in-memory data-warehousing and BI capabilities already in SQL server, officials reported.

There’s also been buzz over the new Windows Azure integration options that will be included. The new version will allow for more seamless and simple back-up to Azure. Quickly restore to an Azure virtual machine, and back up data at an instance level for disaster-recovery purposes. Back-ups can be automatic or manual. Backing-up on-premise data to the cloud will only get easier, and more streamlined.

Other Stuff

There are a lot of other assorted features and  updates as well, including improved resource management and improvements to BI by way of better data visualizations and network virtualization. Improvements to the AlwaysOn AG will make your life easier and aid in your quest for better reporting and BI management.

Officials also pointed to its power when combined with Windows Server Blue, also known as Windows Server 2012 R2, which is due out later this year. The two together allow for increased scale in terms of compute, network virtualization, and storage virtualization.

You’ll also be able to cache frequently-used data on SSDs, with zero risk of data loss. Awesome, though there are some questions you should ask about your data and needs before using this feature. There are increased options for partitioning data.

The Gist

SQL Server 2014 provides updates to the 2012 version, including faster query speeds and greater data compression, both of which yield more real-time analytics processing capabilities. Overall, you’ll have many more options and tools for online maintenance operations. Head over to Brent Ozar Unlimited for a detailed discussion about the SQL update. Their team has obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this, to everyone else’s benefit.

Big stuff, little stuff, good stuff. Nothing like a good database update.

What features are you most excited about? Anything missing that you’re still waiting for? Share your thoughts on SQL Server 2014 in the comments below.