At TechEd 2013 in New Orleans, Megan Keller, SQL Server Pro Editorial Director, and I met with Eron Kelly, General Manager for SQL Server Marketing, to talk about the upcoming release of SQL Server 2014. The new SQL Server 2014 release will provide several significant new features.
Related: Microsoft Announces SQL Server 2014
The biggest feature in the upcoming SQL Server 2014 release is undoubtedly the In-Memory OLTP Engine (formerly code named Hekaton). The new In-Memory OLTP Engine will help you to choose which tables go in memory. It will also help you to choose the stored procedure that will be compiled into machine code for high-performance execution. EdgeNet, an early adopter, saw a 7x performance increase with no code changes.
There will also be new Azure integration options for backup and AlwaysOn Availability Groups. The new backup option is integrated into SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and it allows you to back up a SQL Server database to Azure. You can also use it to quickly restore to an Azure virtual machine (VM). AlwaysOn Availability Groups have also been extended to Azure, providing AlwaysOn in the cloud. This enables you to create asynchronous Availability Group replicas in Azure for disaster recovery. Like the new Azure backup, the ability to create Azure Availability Groups is integrated in SMSS.
Another improvement that Kelly discussed with Megan and I is the ability to provide better resource management for big data. There's improved integration with Windows Server 2012’s storage enhancements. SQL Server 2014’s Resource Governor can take advantage of the automated storage-tiering provided by Windows Server 2012.
Kelly also demonstrated some of the upcoming business intelligence (BI) improvements. Kelly illustrated how Data Explorer can provide new data visualizations, as well as how GEOFlow was able to provide a visual mapping of all the different TechEd attendees. He also pointed out that in the SQL Server 2014 release, PowerView will be able to work against multi-dimensional models in addition to tabular data models.
For those of you following the SQL Server 2014 release cycle, you might note that the SQL Server 2014 release has skipped the traditional R2 release that Microsoft normally releases between major releases. Kelly explained that this was due to the significant changes that Microsoft needed to make to the database engine to support the new In-Memory OLTP Engine.
Kelly told us that we could expect to see a preview of the SQL Server 2014 released this month, with general availability expected to be available in early 2014.