At TechEd North America we announced Microsoft SQL Server 2014 as part of a wave of updates to our key enterprise products. Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the first public Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2014. This public CTP enables you to try and test many of the capabilities of the SQL Server 2014 release. Below you will find an overview of SQL Server 2014 as well as the key features included in the first public CTP:

SQL Server 2014 delivers:

  • Mission critical performance across all database workloads with in-memory for online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing and business intelligence built-in as well as greater scale and availability
  • Hybrid cloud platform enabling organizations to more easily build, deploy and manage database solutions that span on-premises and cloud
  • Faster insights from any data with a complete BI solution using familiar tools like Excel

Key Features included in SQL Server 2014 CTP1:

In Memory Performance Built-In

  • In-Memory OLTP – built in to core SQL Server database and uniquely flexible to work with traditional SQL Server tables allowing you to improve the performance of your database applications without having to refresh your existing hardware. Customers such as EdgeNet and Bwin are accelerating their businesses by achieving significant performance gains to scale.
  • Enhanced In-Memory ColumnStore for data warehousing – now updatable with greater data compression for more real-time analytics support.
  • New buffer pool extension support to non-volatile memory such as solid state drives (SSDs) – Increases performance and extends your in-memory buffer pools to SSDs for faster paging.
  • New enhanced query processing – speeds all SQL Server queries regardless of workload.

Enhanced Availability, Security and Scalability

  • CloudOS-TechEd_EMEA_SQLEnhanced AlwaysOn – Built upon the significant capabilities introduced with SQL Server 2012, AlwaysOn delivers mission critical availability with up to eight readable secondaries and enhanced online operations. Failover Cluster Instances now support Windows Cluster Shared Volumes, improving the utilization of share storage and increasing failover resiliency.
  • Enhanced separation of duties – Achieve greater compliance with new capabilities for creating role and sub-roles. For example, a database administrator can now manage data without seeing sensitive data or personally identifiable information.
  • Greater scalability of compute, networking and storage with Windows Server 2012 R2 - SQL Server 2014 CTP1 supports Windows Server 2012 R2 CTP, so you can start to test the scalability gains Windows Server 2012 R2 provides for SQL Server:
    • Increased compute scale – Continue to benefit from scale for up to 640 logical processors and 4TB of memory in a physical environment and up to 64 virtual processors and 1TB of memory per VM.
    • Network virtualization and NIC teaming – Abstracts networking layer so you can easily migrate SQL Server from one datacenter to another. Increase network throughput for your mission critical SQL Server workloads by allowing those workloads to access more than one network card.
    • Storage virtualization with storage spaces – Create pools of storage and storage tiers allowing your hot data to access the premium storage and cold data to access standard storage improving resilience, performance and predictability.

Platform for Hybrid Cloud

While there are several additional hybrid cloud features coming in the feature complete CTP at a later date, today you can try the new hybrid cloud deployment wizard in this CTP.

  • Deployment wizard for SQL Server in Windows Azure Virtual Machine – Point and click user interface built into SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to help customers easily deploy existing SQL Server databases into Windows Azure Virtual Machine.

Enhanced BI Capabilities

SQL Server 2014 is at the heart of our modern data platform which delivers a comprehensive BI solution that simplifies access to all data types big and small. Within SQL Server 2014 CTP1, you will find Power View support for multi-dimensional models which was also include in SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU4.

  • Power View for Multi-Dimensional Models - Support for PowerView for the multi-dimensional format within the BI Semantic Model in SQL Server Analysis Services.

Download SQL Server 2014 CTP1

SQL Server 2014 brings to market many new exciting capabilities that will deliver tremendous value to customers. You can begin to test many of these new features today with the release of the SQL Server 2014 CTP1. For fast development and testing of SQL Server 2014 CTP features, we have made the CTP available on Windows Azure Virtual Machines in addition to the on-premises download.

If you are at TechEd Europe and want to learn more about SQL Server 2014 don’t miss these sessions:

Learn more about SQL Server 2014 and download new datasheet and whitepapers here. You can also view the SQL Server 2014 CTP1 product documentation here.