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Microsoft Ignite Announcements Nov 2021

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Microsoft Ignite has always announced many new products and new product features, and this year was no exception. Many exciting announcements, and below I list the major data platform and AI related announcements:

  • SQL Server 2022: A new version of SQL Server has arrived! It is now in private preview.  Some of the top new features are: Integration with Azure SQL Database Managed Instance — the Microsoft-managed, cloud-based deployment of the SQL Server box product. This integration supports migrations to Managed Instance through the use of Distributed Availability Group (DAG), which will enable near-zero-downtime database migrations. Additionally, you will have the ability to move back to on-premises through a database restore (only available for SQL Server 2022), giving bi-directional HA/DR to Azure SQL. You can also use this link feature in read scale-out scenarios to offload heavy requests that might otherwise affect database performance; Implementation of the ledger feature in Azure SQL Database, which was announced in May of this year, bringing the same blockchain capabilities to SQL Server; Azure Synapse Link for SQL Server, which provides for replication of data from SQL Server into Synapse-dedicated SQL pools; Integration with Azure Purview, which assures that the cloud-based data governance platform encompasses SQL Server data, bringing data stored on-premises into its governance scope. That scope even includes propagation of Purview policies for centralized administration of management operations; Support for multi-write replication, creating corresponding multiple read replicas. This facilitates SQL Server Query Store’s enablement of query hints for the multiple replicas, improving performance without requiring a rewrite of Transact SQL (T-SQL) code; A new feature called Parameter Sensitive Plan Optimization which automatically enables the generation of multiple active cached query plans for a single parameterized statement, accommodating different data sizes based on provided runtime parameter values; An update to PolyBase that uses REST APIs to connect to data lakes (Azure storage and Amazon S3) in addition to using the ODBC drivers, as well as supporting the OPENROWSET command; Enhancements to T-SQL that includes an enhanced set of functions for working with JSON data and new time series capabilities. More info
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server: A middle-ground position between the default Single Server offering, which is entry-level, and the Hyperscale offering, which is for large scale-out applications. Flexible Server provides high-availability options to help ensure zero data loss, a burstable compute tier, and built-in capabilities for cost optimization — including the ability to stop the server (and billing) when not in use. Flexible Server will be made generally available this month. More info
  •  Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra: Is now GA. Cassandra is an open source, column family store NoSQL database. The Azure Cassandra service includes an automatic synchronization feature that can sync data between with customers’ own Cassandra instances, on-premises and elsewhere. More info
  • Cosmos DB improvements: Partial document updates using the SQL interface is now GA; Customizable provisioned throughput spending limits and cost-savings alerts in Azure Advisor is now GA
  • Azure Synapse Analytics improvements: Azure Synapse Link for SQL Server, which provides for replication of data from SQL Server into Synapse-dedicated SQL pools; Integration and adaptation of Azure Data Explorer (ADX) into the Azure Synapse platform. ADX is a platform for real-time analysis of huge volumes of log/machine/telemetry and other time series data; Azure Event Hubs Premium, which hits GA today, is another integration in Azure Synapse. Azure Event Hubs is a streaming event data platform that is available as a linked service which means that Synapse users can perform event streaming, ingestion, and analysis right in the platform and do so with the reserved compute, memory, and store resources offered by the Premium level of the service; Integration of a set of industry-specific database templates into Synapse Studio. Templates for retail, consumer packaged goods, and financial services (including banking, fund management, property, and casualty insurance) are being added as a preview feature, at no additional cost. The database templates are actually a new name for what was previously called common data models. A new database designer gives you the possibility to create a new data model or modify an existing one for your lake database (the lake database in Azure Synapse Analytics brings together database design, meta information about the data that is stored and a possibility to describe how and where the data should be stored).

For more details, check out the Microsoft Ignite book of news.

More info:

At Ignite, Microsoft enhances its cloud database, warehouse and lake services

Microsoft’s cloud-connected on-prem database: SQL Server 2022 rolls out in private preview

Introducing SQL Server 2022: Top 3 New Features Announced at Microsoft Ignite

At Ignite, Microsoft unveils data analytics, server, and DevOps products for Azure

Announcing SQL Server 2022 preview: Azure-enabled with continued performance and security innovation

The post Microsoft Ignite Announcements Nov 2021 first appeared on James Serra's Blog.

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