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) –
- 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.
- 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.
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 !