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SQL Server 2014 pushes the pedal to the metal

Sean McCown | March 21, 2014
SQL Server 2014 is a significant release with two overarching themes: cloud and speed -- or, to be specific, Azure integrations and in-memory OLTP (online transaction processing). Truth be told, I'm more excited about the speed features than the cloud stuff, but I also understand there is a growing portion of the customer base that is heading to cloud-based operations, and these shops will find the cloud features useful.

SQL Server 2014 is a solid release with a good mix of new features and enhancements to existing ones. While I'm personally not drawn to the cloud features, I'm absolutely thrilled with the work Microsoft has done on OLTP, and this story is sure to get better. Hekaton is brand new with this release, so you can expect that some of the restrictions will start melting away in subsequent releases.

I didn't even come close to mentioning all of the new features. For some good practical reading, I suggest looking up buffer pool extension, incremental statistics, and managing lock priority of online operations. All of these can have a significant impact on your system performance. However, it's also worth noting that Integration Services, Reporting Services, and replication didn't receive any enhancements in this release at all, and while there are some minor T-SQL enhancements, nothing that will change the way DBAs or developers do their job.

Still, SQL Server 2014 gives you plenty of ways to improve performance, and a few ways to leverage the Azure cloud for backups and high availability. SQL Server shops wrestling with these issues should take a close look at this release.

 

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