Microsoft has shown off SQL Server 2014 at this year’s TechEd conference. Highlights of the new version are the ability to do in-memory OLTP, and to analyze Big Data in real time.
Details about the new version were also announced in the SQL Server Blog where Quentin Clark of the Data Platform Group said that the in-memory OLTP support comes from the Hekaton project that Microsoft has been working on for some years. When Hekaton was demoed last year, Microsoft described it as “a fully in-memory transactional engine delivered as a part of SQL Server,” and estimated an increase in performance of up to 50 times over the current standard SQL Server.
Clark said that Microsoft will be delivering Hekaton’s in-memory OLTP in the box with SQL Server 2014, saying:
“For our customers, “in the box” means they don’t need to buy specialized hardware or software and can migrate existing applications to benefit from performance gains.”
Cloud support in the new version has also been a focus, with simplified cloud backup, cloud disaster recovery and easy migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines all being mentioned by Clark.
Real time data analysis of ‘Big Data’ is the other big focus of the new release, according to Clark. He said that data “dramatically changes how business happens”, citing real-time data integration and new and large data sets as being significant components of causing such changes. Other factors in the changes, according to Clark, are “evolving analytics techniques and more fluid visualization and collaboration”.
In practical terms, Clark said the SQL team continues to make major investments in the in-memory columnstore for performance and data compression, and that the columnstore is now: “deeply married to our business intelligence servers and Excel tools for faster business insights”.
SQL Server 2014 will be available in preview later this month, but no release date for the final product has been mentioned.