Last month Microsoft publicly rolls out trial evaluation of SQL Server 2014 (Codename "Hekaton). Everyone seems super excited to install the new release and jump start exploring the new features. But before hitting to download page I would recommend spending some time learning "What are the new key notable features" in this new release.
Several new features have been introduced to improve database performance.
- In-Memory OLTP. This is a new feature which can help resolve issues in high concurrency situations. There are some requirements to get it working but for those whose problem this solves, it is very cool.
- Updatable ColumnStore Indexes. This provides the ability to load or delete data from existing ColumnStore indexes. Previously once a ColumnStore index was created you could not directly add, delete, or modify data in the table. In order to update table information the index needed to be dropped or disabled and then the index rebuilt.
- New Buffer Pool Extension to Solid State Drives (SSDs). This is new functionality providing the ability of each node to have its own SSD or SSD Array for buffering, and thus performance capabilities can be greatly increased.
- New Improved Query Performance. Another new feature for performance improvement wherein query processing has been enhanced and split into a two-step process: decision making and execution.
Scalability & High Availability
- Enhanced AlwaysOn. Provides for up-to eight secondaries (double the 2012 option).
- More Reliable Secondaries. Previously several factors could result in secondaries being dropped offline. Those areas have been addressed.
- Scale to the Cloud. SQL 2014 allows for Hybrid systems as you can now use Azure VMs as AlwaysOn AG replicas.
Improved Backup Options
- Backup to Azure. With this new feature of backup to Azure, backups can be stored offsite (in the cloud) providing safe storage of backup data.
- Smart Backup to Azure. Another new backup feature is Smart Backups. With Smart Backups SQL Server determines whether a full or incremental backup is needed and backs up accordingly to Azure.
Stay tuned for more!