The day has arrived, during the night Microsoft have released SQL Server 2014 CTP1 for the community. My guess it that the server will be on heavy load during the next 12-24 hours ;o)
You’ll find the server at this link http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/dn205290.aspx so head over and get at copy for yourself.
As always remember to install the server on a clean machine, and that the software is not supported for any production purposes.
Key features in this release is:
- Project code-named “Hekaton”: “Hekaton” provides in-memory OLTP capabilities built into core SQL Server database to significantly improve the performance of your database application. “Hekaton” is installed with the SQL Server 2014 Engine without requiring any additional actions and allows in-memory performance benefits without rewriting your database application. You can also increase performance of existing SQL Server applications without having to refresh your hardware. “Hekaton” is easy to deploy and allows you to access the other rich features in SQL Server, while taking advantage of in-memory performance.
- xVelocity ColumnStore: xVelocity ColumnStore provides in-memory capabilities for data warehousing workloads that result in dramatic improvement for query performance, load speed, and scan rate, while significantly reducing resource utilization (i.e., I/O, disk and memory footprint). The new ColumnStore complements the existing xVelocity ColumnStore Index, providing higher compression, richer query support and updateability of the ColumnStore giving you the even faster load speed, query performance, concurrency, and even lower price per terabyte.
- Extending Memory to SSDs: Seamlessly and transparently integrates solid-state storage into SQL Server by using SSDs as an extension to the database buffer pool, allowing more in-memory processing and reducing disk IO.
- Enhanced High Availability
- New AlwaysOn features: availability Groups now support up to 8 secondary replicas that remain available for reads at all times, even in the presence of network failures. Failover Cluster Instances now support Windows Cluster Shared Volumes, improving the utilization of shared storage and increasing failover resiliency. Finally, various supportability enhancements make AlwaysOn easier to use.
- Improved Online Database Operations: includes single partition online index rebuild and managing lock priority for table partition switch, greatly increasing enterprise application availability by reducing maintenance downtime impact.