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James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger ( and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2014 CTP2

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2014 CTP2 (download):

What’s new in SQL Server 2014 CTP2?

New Mission Critical Capabilities and Enhancements

  • Enhanced In-Memory OLTP, including new tools which will help you identify and migrate the tables and stored procedures will benefit most from In-Memory OLTP, as well as greater T-SQL compatibility and new indexes which enables more customers to take advantage of our solution.
  • High Availability for In-Memory OLTP Databases:  AlwaysOn Availability Groups are supported for In-Memory OLTP, giving you in-memory performance gains with high availability.  IO Resource Governance, enabling customers to more effectively manage IO across multiple databases and/or classes of databases to provide more predictable IO for your most critical workloads.  Customers today can already manage CPU and memory.
  • Improved resiliency with Windows Server 2012 R2 by taking advantage of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs).  CSV’s provide improved fault detection and recovery in the case of downtime.
  • Delayed Durability, providing the option for increased transaction throughput and lower latency for OLTP applications where performance and latency needs outweigh the need for 100% durability.

New Hybrid Cloud Capabilities and Enhancements

By enabling the above in-memory performance capabilities for your SQL Server instances running in Windows Azure Virtual Machines, you will see significant transaction and query performance gains.  In addition there are new capabilities listed below that will allow you to unlock new hybrid scenarios for SQL Server.

  • Managed Backup to Windows Azure, enabling you to backup on-premises SQL Server databases to Windows Azure storage directly in SSMS.  Managed Backup also optimizes backup policy based on usage, an advantage over the manual Backup to Windows Azure. See Backup and Restore Enhancements in SQL Server 2014 CTP2
  • Encrypted Backup, offering customer the ability to encrypt both on-premises backup and backups to Windows Azure for enhance security.  See Backup and Restore Enhancements in SQL Server 2014 CTP2
  • Enhanced disaster recovery to Windows Azure with simplified UI, enabling customers to more easily add Windows Azure Virtual Machines as AlwaysOn secondaries in SQL Server Management Studio for greater cost-effective data protection and disaster recovery solution.  Customers may also use the secondaries in Windows Azure for to scale and offload reporting and backups.
  • SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure - New capability to store large databases (>16TB) in Windows Azure and the ability to stream the database as a backend for SQL Server applications running on-premises or in the cloud.

More info:

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2014 CTP2

Geek City: SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP (“Hekaton”) Whitepaper for CTP2

SQL Server 2014 CTP 2 Now Available


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