SQL Server 2014 released to manufacturing – customers to get from April 1 2014!


Its a buzz in SQL Server blogs since last night about the newest version release, which is 2014 version.

The Data Platform group has planned the RTM announcement on March 18 that is available for community download from April 1 2014 onwards and  register today to be notified once the release is available.

The newest features in 2014 are surrounded within Core database engine enhancements – built-in memory OLTP capabilities which is named as Hekaton that will be useful for both relational and data-warehousing (BI) based features. About Hekaton you can see more from this a Microsoft-authored article about the making of Hekaton link and more on how Microsoft’s teams created Hekaton and what it can do.

The enhancements within High Availability, IO in Resource Governor and Memory optimized tables along with ColumnStore Indexes are important for every DBA out there. Further, 2014 offers the backup to URL that will facilitate Windows Azure users to backup the on-premise data to the cloud directly for the sake for DR purpose (but make sure the plan you are in to avoid high costs to transfer the data over wire).

The key features list from Microsoft SQL Server page:

  • In-Memory OLTP: Provides in-memory OLTP capabilities built into core SQL Server database to significantly improve the performance of your database application. In-Memory OLTP is installed with the SQL Server 2014 Engine without requiring any additional actions and allows in-memory performance benefits without rewriting your database application or refreshing your hardware. SQL Server 2014 CTP2 enhancements include AlwaysOn support, increased TSQL surface area, and ability to migrate existing objects to In-Memory OLTP.
  • In-Memory Updateable ColumnStore:  Provides higher compression, richer query support and updateability of the existing ColumnStore for data warehousing workloads giving you even faster load speed, query performance, concurrency, and even lower price per terabyte.
  • Extending Memory to SSDs:  Seamlessly and transparently integrates solid-state storage into SQL Server by using SSDs as an extension to the database buffer pool, allowing more in-memory processing and reducing disk IO.
  • Enhanced High AvailabilityEncrypted Backup: Provides encryption support for backups, on-premise and in Windows Azure.
    • New AlwaysOn features: Availability Groups now support up to 8 secondary replicas that remain available for reads at all times, even in the presence of network failures. Failover Cluster Instances now support Windows Cluster Shared Volumes, improving the utilization of shared storage and increasing failover resiliency.
    • Improved Online Database Operations: Includes single partition online index rebuild and managing lock priority for table partition switch, reducing maintenance downtime impact.
  • IO Resource Governance: Resource pools now support configuration of minimum and maximum IOPS per volume, enabling more comprehensive resource isolation controls.
  • Hybrid Scenarios:
    • Smart Backup: Provides management and automation of SQL Server backups (from on-premise and Windows Azure) to Windows Azure storage.
    • Add Azure Replica Wizard: Easily add replicas in Windows Azure to on-premise Availability Groups.
    • SQL XI (XStore Integration): Supports SQL Server Database files (from on-premise and Windows Azure) on Windows Azure Storage blobs.
    • Deployment Wizard: Easily deploy on-premise SQL Server databases to Windows Azure.

Just a history for 2014, it has been RTM’d quickly as compared to previous versions. first CTP released last July 2013 and within 10 months RTM is ready for use.

Microsoft released a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2014 in June 2013. It released a second CTP late last year.

To get to know What’s new in SQL Server 2014 and see the technical resources information such as training facilities and evaluation guides see SQL Server 2014 CTP2 Resource Page which will be modified in next few weeks time to affect RTM’d information.

Finally, I’m excited and registered my interest to hear more on data platform strategy from Quentin Clark, Vice-President Data Platform Group, Satya Nadella, CEO and Kevin Turner, COO. The event is happening on April 15 2014 and see here for more details about the event.