According to Microsoft, SQL Server 2014 is designed to deliver new hybrid cloud scenarios, faster data insights, and built-in in-memory capabilities. Many people believe the biggest feature in the upcoming SQL Server 2014 release is the In-Memory OLTP Engine (formerly code named Hekaton). As we await the general release of SQL Server 2014, let's take a look at a few of the most talked about enhancements and features. 

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Backup Encryption

Encrypting backups gets simpler in SQL Server 2014.  Check out a great illustration of the how you can prevent anyone from taking your backup file and restoring it to another database server with the new SQL Server 2014 encryption capabilities by reading My Favorite New Feature in SQL Server 2014 by Joey D'Antoni.

Business Intelligence

SQL Server 2014 includes business intelligence (BI) improvements to help build and support vast databases and data warehouses. Learn more about what SQL Server 2014 will do for your business intelligence efforts in Upcoming Business Intelligence Enhancements in SQL Server 2014 by Kevin Kline.

In-Memory OLTP Engine

In-Memory OLTP significantly improves the OLTP workload and reduces the time required for processing. The performance gains depend on the hardware infrastructure you have and how you are writing your queries. Get more details from Arshad Ali in SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP Architecture and Data Storage.

Memory Optimization Advisor

The SQL Server 2014 Memory Optimization Advisor will help you quickly analyze your tables and walks you through reviewing and migrating disk-based table to In-Memory OLTP tables. Greg Larsen give you a walk-through of how to use the Memory Optimization Advisor tool to migrate a table in the AdventureWorks2012 database. See, SQL Server 2014 Memory Optimization Advisor.

Windows Azure Integration

SQL Server 2014 includes the ability to use Windows Azure for offsite backup storage and as a disaster recovery site. With SQL Server 2014 you can backup and restore your databases from copies stored in Windows Azure, which can quickly and easily provide off-site storage for all backups. More specifics are available in SQL Server 2014 CTP2 and Azure Backups by Joseph Karnes.

Related: New Features in SQL Server 2014