The Analytics Platform System (APS), which is a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), has just released an appliance update (AU7), which is sort of like a service pack, except that it includes many new features.
Below is what is new in this release:
Customers will get significantly improved query performance and enhanced security features with this release. APS AU7 builds on appliance update 6 (APS 2016) release as a foundation. Upgrading to APS appliance update 6 is a prerequisite to upgrade to appliance update 7.
APS AU7 now provides the ability to automatically create statistics and update of existing outdated statistics for improved query optimization. APS AU7 also adds support for setting multiple variables from a single select statement reducing the number of redundant round trips to the server and improving overall query and ETL performance time. Other T-SQL features include HASH and ORDER GROUP query hints to provide more control over improving query execution plans.
APS AU7 also includes latest firmware and drivers along with the hardware and software patch to address the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerability from our hardware partners.
Customers already on APS2016 will experience an enhanced upgrade process to APS AU7 allowing a shorter maintenance window with the ability to uninstall and rollback to a previous version. AU7 also introduces a section called Feature Switch in configuration manager giving customers the ability to customize the behavior of new features.