SQL Server 2016 Announced, and it stretches to the Cloud!

Last week during Ignite, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the next version(Till then it was called as SQL vNext) of SQL Server, and its SQL Server 2016.

Satya started the Ignite keynote, and he looked really pumped when he announced SQL 2016.

“SQL 2016 perhaps is the biggest breakthrough you have ever seen in database technology”



He was focusing on Stretch Database capabilities, and he called it can infinite database where you have the capability to pick a single table and stretch it to Azure without any code changes.

The keyword here is “without any code changes”.

SQL Server 2016 is packed with some real exciting features, and below is my top favorite list(Yes, ranked from 1 to 3) –

  1. Operational Analytics – In Microsoft SQL Server 2016, users can run analytic queries on in-memory and disk-basedOLTP tables with minimal impact on business criticalOLTP workloads, requiring no application changes.The concept is based on leveraging In Memory OLTP + In Memory Column Store.This indeed is game changing. The idea of running analytic queries on OLTP tables might be a strict ‘No’ now, however as SQL Server evolve we can see changes in thought process.
  2. Always Encrypted –  

We had Transparent Data Encryption(TDE) all these years,and its been doing a great job. Then, why there is a need for something like Always Encrypted ?

TDE encrypts data at rest. As soon as the data is in motion, its vulnerable. Classic example is man-in-the-middle-attacks.

Always Encrypted protects data in rest and in motion. This feature lets application encrypt and decrypt critical data automatically, and it happens seamlessly in ADO.NET.

 The master-key resides in the application and there are no application changes which are required.

3.   Stretch Database – 

We all have hot and cold data in our databases, and in majority of the cases this data will be in the same database, same table without any specific partitions.

Years old data which might come useful only during audit purposes will be utilizing costly storage space and will add extra maintenance overhead.

SQL Server 2016 will bring in a new concept called stretch database, where in you have the ability to pick a specific table and stretch it to Azure.

If an application queries for the historical data, it will be retrieved from Azure.

Storage in Azure is cheap and the price will always go down as long as the “Cloud War” is happening between Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

With concepts like Always Encrypted, the data which resides or in motion to Azure is secure.

Apart from these 3 features, I’m really looking forward for Query Store and the Round Robin Load Balancing capabilities for secondaries in AlwaysOn Availability Groups.

There will be plenty of In Memory OLTP enhancements and it will cover larger T-SQL surface area. More on this will follow shortly.

Conclusion – 

Yes, SQL Server 2016 is a good release with lot of nice features and enhancements.

I’m pretty happy with the vision of the Data Platform Group within Microsoft, and I’m really looking forward to write more about these features in the upcoming months.

Thanks for reading and keep watching this space for more !


CU3 for SQL2012 SP1 – Couple of interesting hotfixes.

Here comes CU 3 (Build 11.0.3349.0.) for SQLServer 2012 SP1. You can download the same from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2812412

Similar to CU2 there are some interesting hotfixes which are included in this CU release, and its worth testing it out.

The ones which attracted my attention are –


(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2800013/  )

FIX:   Access violation when you put a FILESTREAM-enabled database offline in SQL   Server 2008 R2 or in SQL Server 2012



(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2803529/  )

FIX:   Poor performance in SQL Server 2012 when you run a SQL Server trace



(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2807974/  )

FIX:   Error 3456 after you add new file groups to the principal database in a SQL   Server 2012 asynchronous database mirroring environment



(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2813214/ )

FIX:   CPU spike when there is no load on a server after you install SQL Server 2012   on the server



(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2819662/  )

SQL   Server 2012 experiences performance issues in NUMA environments

The last 2 fixes attracted me a lot, however these are type of issues might not occur for all the environments. The CPU spike fix has a situation like a server with 64 or 128 cores +NUMA and 256GB – 1TB of Memory.These specifications are beyond imagination for small environments and majority of the enterprise(As of now !),so these might not even be a concern for the admin’s.


The decision to test or deploy CU3 for SQL2012SP1 varies from environment – environment and your approach towards CUs.

Thanks for reading and keep watching this space for more.

2012 in review !

Year 2012 was super special for me in many ways. Made lot of new friends, Attended SQLPASS Summit 2012 and had the privilege to meet and greet #SQLfamily members, New learnings, Multiple SQL2012 deployments, Lot of writing and Loads of fun !!!

All about resolutions –

One of the major resolutions for me in 2012 was to explore Virtualization more and move away from standard perception that “All Production environments should be deployed on physical hardware”. By the growing capabilities of virtual infrastructure the move to the virtual world was pretty much an easy one and I’m loving this change.

Attending SQLPASS Summit 2012 –

Dream come true event for me. My 3 key takeaways of PASS Summit was

New friends, Learning & Fun

Sharing and getting involved with SQL community –

I learned a lot by trying to help and answer questions via forums, twitter tags etc. This is a wonderful platform to get engaged and solve real-time issues.

Started sharing my thoughts on SQLServer via a much bigger platform SQLServerCentral.com,all my notes are available under http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/sqlsailorcom/

Here is a quick overview of SQLSailor for 2012 –

Click here to see the complete report.

Overall year 2012 was a great one and I’m looking for a wonderful 2013.

Thanks for reading and wishing every a Happy and Prosperous New Year !

You don’t want to miss this out,Serious SQLServer training – 24 Hours of PASS event !

Back to back quality SQLServer sessions! Yes, you heard it right and that’s what 24 Hours of PASS is all about.

The event kicks off at 12:00 GMT on Sep 20 and runs for 24 consecutive hours.

The sessions are selected carefully, and are categorized into 6 tracks –

Enterprise Database Administration (DBA)

Application Development (AppDev)

BI Information Delivery (BID)

BI Platform Architecture, Development & Administration (BIA)

Cloud Application Development & Deployment (CLD)

Professional Development (PD)

Complete details of sessions are available at http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/fall2012/SessionsbyTrack.aspx

I’m looking forward to attend some great sessions next week, and my favorite picks are –

Characteristics of a Great Relational Database by Louis Davidson

Digging Into the Plan Cache  by Jason Strate

Three Ways to Identify Slow Running Queries by Grant Fritchey

Fasten Your Seatbelt – Troubleshooting the Most Difficult SQL Server Problems  by Klaus Aschenbrenner

SQL Server Private Cloud != Azure by Allen Hirt and Ben DeBow

What’s All the Buzz about Hadoop and Hive? by Cindy Gross

DBCC, Statistics, and You by Erin Stellato

Best Practices for Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 by Robert Davis

PowerShell 101 for the SQL Server DBA by Allen White

Using SQL Server 2012 Always On by Denny Cherry

Leadership – Winning Influence in IT Teams by Kevin Kline

I’m really excited ! Are you ? Register here

Thanks for reading.

Installing SQLServer for SCCM 2012 – Some points to note on patch levels

The prerequisite SQLServer 2008 R2 patch level for System Center Config Manager 2012(SCCM) is SP1 with Cumulative Update 6 (CU)





For a fresh install if you are considering the latest SQLServer 2008 R2 SP2 for SCCM 2012,then you need to understand the fact that SP2 includes hot fixes provided in SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Cumulative Updates 1 to 5 and do not include 6, 7 and 8.

You would need to deploy SQLServer 2008 R2 SP2 CU1 to ensure that you have the correct pre-requisites for SCCM 2012 deployment.

SQLServer 2008 R2 SP2 CU1 contains fixes released in SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU 6 & 7.

SQL Services Blog states about this and you can read this here.


This patch level points are critical for your SCCM 2012 environment to work correctly.

Thanks for reading.

TechEd India 2012 On demand videos – Available now !

Yes ! The wait is over and you can now download the TechEd India 2012 session videos.


I wanted to attend the event in person,but couldn’t make it this time.Microsoft did a very good job by streaming most of the sessions,key notes and over all it was great fun.

Kudos to everyone who worked really hard for TechEdIndia 2012 !

Thanks for reading.

TechEd India 2012 (#TechEdIn) In a nutshell

Technology,networking,knowledge sharing under one roof and that too for 3 consecutive days !!! Wow,thats TechEd for you.

[Picture courtesy - http://yodigo-contrablog.blogspot.com]

TechEd India 2012 gave me a fabulous ride this time.Even though I couldn’t attend the event in person,I was able to utilize the LIVE streaming options and had a gala time watching key notes,sessions and extravaganza demos right from the comfort of my home with a hot coffee in my hand.

I realized the fact that if I am getting this much fun while watching the LIVE stream,then how much fun it would have been to attend the event directly from Bangalore(TechEd India 2012 was held at Bangalore,India).

Twitter was flooded with live tweets from the event location and #TechEdIn tag was used.I had a great time tweeting LIVE all 3 days.

Day 1 started with a bang when Sanket Akerkar (Managing Director, Microsoft India) gave the opening  key note.He gave a clear picture on where Microsoft is heading to and what can be expected in the coming days.

I got a chance to watch three live streaming sessions on Day 3 of TechEd,and they were really exciting.

Here is a quick review of the sessions(In the order of occurrence) –

1. Peeling SQL Server like an Onion: Internals Debunked  – Vinod Kumar(@vinodk_sql )

Vinod’s session was very much interesting and the session evolved around on 3 main focus areas,ie Storage alignment and the behavior in SQL 2012,Security changes,Checkpoint changes and Memory changes.

The session explained how FSUTIL output needs to be read.When security topic came into picture,there were some very tricky questions asked.Couple of them which I remember is

Q – “How many sysadmins will be there by default on a SQL Server 2008 R2 Instance?”

Ans – I was pretty sure about SA already being sysadmin,NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM will also be there.I also found that the service account that is used to start the SQL Server service and SQL Server Agent service are individually granted sysadmin rights in SQL Server.

Q – “How many new permissions are added to SQL 2012”

Ans – I had no clue on this and he confirmed that its 19.

The session also covered about DB recovery changes,VLF issues/enhancements,Checkpoints and some good take away related to Memory.

Overall an excellent session and it inspired me to read through Disk Alignment Best Practices doc to understand more about the concepts.I will be reaching out Vinod to clarify couple of my doubts and if I get more info,I will share that amoung every one here.

2.Speed Up! – Parallel Processes and Unparalleled Performance  – Pinal Dave (@pinaldave)

                        [Picture courtesy - http://arstechnica.com/apple/news]

Pinal’s session was one of the very exciting and enjoyable sessions of TechEd 2012.He mixed fun from beginning till end of the session and was definitely a crowd pulling effort.

He started with a bang asking a ‘Who is he?’ question.No one had clue on what is happening and finally he came up with the answer himself.He was talking about Gene Myron Amdahl.He formulated Amdahl’s law, which states a fundamental limitation of parallel computing.

He gave multiple examples to explain the concept and he ensured that everyone understand the concept like MDOP value and Cost threshold for parallelism.

There were so many demos explaining if parallelism is good or bad.He also focused that the decision to go for parallelism for OLAP,OLTP or hybrid needs to be taken after careful analysis.

Overall I enjoyed the session a lot and expecting more interesting tips from Pinal on parallelism.

3. Lesser Known Facts of SQL Server Backup and Restore  – Amit Banerjee(@banerjeeamit )

In Amit’s session you can assure one thing. You will learn at least a new concept and can walk back happily to home. This happened with me yet again and I learned couple of new things after his session.

The session was excellent and it went with great flow. All kinds of backups were discussed which included File Group level, File level etc.He explained what is a piecemeal restore.

There was focus on Volume Shadow Copy Service and he clearly explained the behind the scene concepts.The discussion also touched VDI.

He explained about the Data Transfer Options like BufferCountSize and Maxtransfersize and showed great set of demos on the same.

In a nut shell all the 3 sessions which I attended was fun and there was definite takeaway’s from my perspective.

I missed to attend another 3 important sessions.One of them was not streaming and the remaining 2 had conflicts with other sessions.I will watch the on demand  video for these 3 sessions and will update this post.The sessions are –

T-SQL Rediscovered with SQL Server 2012   – Jacob Sebastian (@jacobsebastian)

Keeping Your Database Available – ‘AlwaysOn’  – Balmukund Lakhani(@blakhani )

Tools to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems  – (@vinodk_sql)

Icing on the cake

Today morning when I opened tweet deck I was surprised to see this tweet which mentioned my name

This was Microsoft’s,TecEd’s way of saying Thank You and I really appreciate it.

TechEdIn 2012 closing key note was done by Moorthy Uppaluri (General Manager, Microsoft Corporation).As always this key note was also very special and his below words should make a big impact.

“It’s all about you and its starts with you”

TechEd was indeed a great event and a memorable one for me.

Thanks for reading.

TechEd India 2012 will be streamed LIVE !!!

It was a great news for me to hear that TechEd India 2012 will be streamed LIVE.TechEd is one of the best events where you learn a lot and get a chance to connect with the #SQLFamily.

The decision to stream the event LIVE is truly amazing and it gives a chance for those who cannot attend the event in person.

You can register for the event here.

There are great set of sessions lined up for this event and below is a quick overview of the Agenda.My focus is mainly on the DBA track(Infrastructure Professionals).

The event is spread across 3 days and each day starts with great set of Key notes.

Agenda Day 1

T-SQL Rediscovered with SQL Server 2012   – Jacob Sebastian (@jacobsebastian)

Catapult your data with SQL Server 2012 integration services – Praveen Srivatsa

Processing Big Data with SQL Server 2012 and Hadoop  – Stephan Forte

SQL Server Misconceptions and Resolution – A Practical Perspective – Pinal Dave (@pinaldave)

Securing with ContainedDB in SQL Server 2012  – Pranab Majumdar

Agenda Day 2

BigData and Elastic Cloud  – Ramkumar Kothandaraman

SQL Server 2012 – AlwaysOn Availability Groups  – Amit Ganguli

Agenda Day 3

Peeling SQL Server like an Onion: Internals Debunked  – Vinod Kumar(@vinodk_sql )

Speed Up! – Parallel Processes and Unparalleled Performance  – Pinal Dave (@pinaldave)

Keeping Your Database Available – ‘AlwaysOn’  – Balmukund Lakhani(@blakhani )

Lesser Known Facts of SQL Server Backup and Restore  – Amit Banerjee(@banerjeeamit )

Tools to manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems  – (@vinodk_sql)

Note  – There are great set of Cloud,System Center 2012 sessions too and I hope that these sessions will also be available for  ‘On demand’ viewing.

I am all excited to attend TechEd India 2012 virtually,how about you?

Thanks for reading.

Time for some fun!!! New SQL Server 2012 T- Shirts

Recently Microsoft SQL Server Team had posted some SQL Server 2012 T Shirt designs in FB,and had asked for feedbacks for selecting the best 3 designs.

Today they came out with 4 selected designs instead of 3!!! They look gorgeous and I would love to own one.

Are you looking forward for this? I am really excited!!!

Welcoming NEW YEAR 2012 with a new domain www.SQLSailor.com

Finally that day has arrived! I had a dream of creating my own identity via a blog page which will talk about my love towards SQL Server technology and much more.

Starting Jan 1st 2012 www.SQLSailor.com will be my blog home, and all hits on https://smartsqlserver.wordpress.com will be re-routed to SQLSailor.com

I am looking forward for some exciting blog posts on SQL Server for the whole year 2012 and would love to hear your feedback.

Wishing you all a great and prosperous NEW YEAR 2012.

Thanks for reading.