As I mentioned in my blog post describing the new features in the next version of SQL Server (see SQL Server 2014!), the CTP1 was to be released in June, and that time has come.
Download it here, or it is available for download through a MSDN or Technet subscription. Note you can also get it on Azure (see Getting Started With SQL Server 2014 the Easy Way). Be aware that installing side-by-side with other versions of SQL Server is NOT supported, so you should install this on a VM. Also, in this SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release, SQL Server Setup no longer installs SSDT-BI (see SQL 2014 CTP1, where is my BIDS?). The Visual Studio 2012 version of SSDT-BI is available as a separate web download from the Microsoft Download center.
The version that displays is: Microsoft SQL Server 2014 (CTP1) – 11.0.9120.5 (X64).
Key features in this release is:
- Project code-named “Hekaton”: “Hekaton” provides in-memory OLTP capabilities built into core SQL Server database to significantly improve the performance of your database application. “Hekaton” is installed with the SQL Server 2014 Engine without requiring any additional actions and allows in-memory performance benefits without rewriting your database application. You can also increase performance of existing SQL Server applications without having to refresh your hardware. “Hekaton” is easy to deploy and allows you to access the other rich features in SQL Server, while taking advantage of in-memory performance.
- xVelocity ColumnStore: xVelocity ColumnStore provides in-memory capabilities for data warehousing workloads that result in dramatic improvement for query performance, load speed, and scan rate, while significantly reducing resource utilization (i.e., I/O, disk and memory footprint). The new ColumnStore complements the existing xVelocity ColumnStore Index, providing higher compression, richer query support and updateability of the ColumnStore giving you the 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 Availability
- 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. Finally, various supportability enhancements make AlwaysOn easier to use.
- Improved Online Database Operations: includes single partition online index rebuild and managing lock priority for table partition switch, greatly increasing enterprise application availability by reducing maintenance downtime impact.