DBTA – Other News in SQL Server 2014 RTM

  A while back, I told you about some of the coolest new features in the recent RTM for SQL Server. The RTM was announced during the “Accelerate your insights” webcast by a boatload of Microsoft’s top executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, COO Kevin Turner, and CVP Quentin Clark. They had lots of useful information to share and demos to show, but a few other items of note about Azure SQL Databases may have dropped under your radar because they came to light a few days after the big dog-and-pony show/webcast. Read the rest of the article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Big Data and Microsoft SQL Server HDInsight

  It’s time to follow up with a discussion of Microsoft’s cloud-centric approach to big data using HDInsight. MICROSOFT SQL SERVER AND BIG DATA IN THE CLOUD HDInsight is a 100% Apache Hadoop service, currently at v2.2, available through Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud offerings. HDInsight makes all of the standard features you’d expect from a Hadoop implementation—the HDFS/MapReduce software framework and related projects such as Pig and Hive—available in a simple, scalable, and fairly cheap cloud environment. Behind the scenes, HDInsight uses Windows Azure Blob storage to manage and … [Read more...]

DBTA – Microsoft SQL Server and the Big Data Play

  When it comes to implementing a big data strategy in a Microsoft SQL Server shop, you’re generally going to consider one of three strategies. In the first strategy, which I won’t be addressing today, you might choose to tackle your big data architecture by pushing your relational database to its scalability limits, perhaps by making greater use of special features such as SQL Server’s columnstore indexes and special optimizations for BI applications. Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

DBTA – Cloud Computing Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  There’s no doubt that cloud computing is growing due to the strong cost benefits, simplified management, and reduced hosting complexities.  So it’s only fitting that we cap this series on the new features of Microsoft’s upcoming SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014) release of their flagship database by going over the highlights for SQL2014’s new cloud computing features. Here’s what SQL2014 will do for you with regards to business cloud computing: Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

DBTA : Business Intelligence Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  Microsoft has been pouring R&D resourcesinto building out its business intelligence (BI) feature set and the upcoming SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014) release will continue that trend. The new release includes enhancements to make data exploration easier, improvements in BI semantic modeling, new offerings to help build and support massive databases and data warehouses, and tools to ensure the quality and consistency of data. Here’s what SQL2014 will do for you with regards to business intelligence: Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

DBTA – For #SQLFamily, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s the holiday season, a time for cheer and goodwill towards men. That got me thinking about the whole “most wonderful time of the year” tune playing in the background and how that has some special implications for the SQL Server world. Here’s a bit of context: I'm writing this article for you in the midst of the biggest gathering of SQL Server professions in any given year, the PASS Summit. One of the most visible activities when attendees get together for the very first time at the registration desk or the assembly hall for the first keynote address is the huge number of hugs, … [Read more...]

DBTA – Mission Critical Performance Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  Microsoft has three major feature sets that they are advancing with SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014). One is called “Mission Critical Performance.”  Microsoft wants to stake out this ground not only as performance enhancements in the relational engine, but also those features which support better data availability, performance, security, and data integration. Read the rest of my article at http://www.dbta.com/Columns/SQL-Server-Drill-Down/Mission-Critical-Performance-Enhancements-Coming-in-SQL-Server-2014-92530.aspx … [Read more...]

DBTA – SQL Server 2014 Overview

  Perhaps this is your first time reading my column or you don’t know much about SQL Server. If either of those are true, then it might be a surprise to you that Microsoft has accelerated the release cadence for SQL Server to around one new release every 18 to 24 months. Add in the fact that Microsoft goes to market with their beta releases, better known as Community Technology Preview (CTPs), several months before the official release of the product. That means we could be in for a rush of new features and upgrades every year or so. Wow. Read the rest of my article … [Read more...]

New on DBTA.com: Database Benchmarking Tools, the final article in the database benchmarking series

In the last several articles on Database Trends & Applications, I've been describing the benefits of reading and analyzing the benchmarking case studies released by the Transaction Processing Council. I've given you from a broad overview of the TPC benchmarks and shown ways that the vendor-published TPC benchmarks can help you save money and how the vendor-published TPC benchmarks must explain in disclaimers how they tweak their workloads. I have described how to run your own benchmarks and explained how to properly prepare your environment for a benchmark test. Pictured (L-R): Scott … [Read more...]

Cheaters Never Win, Even in TPC Benchmarks

In this column, I want to tell you about one of my favorite aspects of the TPC benchmarks – CHEATING. Keep in mind that I use the term “cheating” in a joking manner with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.  But I’m also half-serious.  One of the of the things that is great about the TPC benchmarks is that each of the vendors are required to fully describe all of the shortcuts, tweaks, and special operating configurations they use in order to achieve their spectacular performance numbers.  In a sense, the Transaction Processing Counsel requires that all benchmarked platforms declare all of … [Read more...]