SQL Server 2014, Microsoft’s cloud first data platform, released to manufacturing today

Today, Quentin Clark, corporate vice president of the Data Platform Group, announced that SQL Server 2014, the foundation of Microsoft’s cloud-first data platform, is released to manufacturing and will be generally available on April 1. Quentin’s blog discussed the tremendous momentum with the SQL Server business as well as SQL Server 2014’s new in-memory OLTP technology and hybrid cloud capabilities. Here we provide additional details on those capabilities and highlight ways customers are getting tremendous value with SQL Server 2014.

Delivering breakthrough performance with In-Memory OLTP

The worldwide data explosion is creating new challenge and new opportunities for enterprises seeking to transform their business to better respond to ever changing market conditions. Businesses need better performance from their transactional applications to respond to customer demand in real time, not at the end of the day when the batch process completes.  We have several great examples of customers using the new, in-memory OLTP engine in SQL Server 2014 to deliver breakthrough performance to their mission critical applications, including:

  • Bwin, is the world’s largest regulated online gaming company. SQL Server 2014 lets bwin scale its applications to 250K requests a second, a 16x increase from before, and provide an overall faster and smoother customer playing experience.
  • Ferranti, which provides solutions for the energy market worldwide, is collecting large amounts of data using smart metering. They use In-Memory OLTP to help utilities be more efficient by allowing them to switch from the traditional meter that is measured once a month to smart meters that provide usage measurements every 15 minutes. By taking more measurements, they can better match supply to demand. With the new system supported by SQL Server 2014, they increased from 5 million transactions a month to 500 million a day.
  • TPP, a clinical software provider, is managing more than 30 million patient records. With In-Memory OLTP, they were able to get their new solution up and running in half a day and their application is now seven times faster than before, peaking at about 34,700 transactions per second.
  • SBI Liquidity Market, an online services provider for foreign currency exchange (FX) trading, wanted to increase the capacity of its trading platform to support its growing business and expansion worldwide.  SBI Liquidity Market is now achieving better scalability and easier management with In-Memory OLTP and expects to strengthen its competitive advantage with a trading platform that is ready to take on the global marketplace.
  • Edgenet provides optimized product data for suppliers, retailers, and search engines including Bing and Google. They implemented SQL Server 2014 to deliver accurate inventory data to customers and are now experiencing seven time faster throughput and their users are creating reports with Microsoft’s self-service BI tools to modeling huge data volumes in seconds. 

Enabling greater availability and data protection with new hybrid scenarios

The hybrid capabilities in SQL Server 2014 make it easier for customers to increase the resiliency of their applications, without adding significant additional cost.  We are bringing new value to customers, including the ability to add SQL Server 2014 in a Window Azure Virtual Machine as an additional secondary to your AlwaysOn solution. Lufthansa Systems is a full-spectrum IT consulting and services organization that serves airlines, financial services firms, healthcare systems, and many more businesses. To better anticipate customer needs for high-availability and disaster-recovery solutions, Lufthansa Systems piloted a solution on SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure that led to faster and more robust data recovery, reduced costs, and the potential for a vastly increased focus on customer service. 

Backup to Windows Azure enables customers to configure backups, which are compressed and encrypted, directly to Azure for greater data protection, taking advantage of Microsoft’s global datacenter. Customers gain the benefits of Windows Azure storage, which offers geographic redundancy at a lower cost than maintaining additional hardware. Beyond SQL Server 2014, this technology will also be generally available as a standalone tool, SQL Server Backup to Windows Azure Tool, on April 1 supporting prior versions of SQL Server. In addition to greater data protection, SQL Server 2014, combined with the standalone tool, can provide significant savings for CAPEX and OPEX as well as deliver on customer needs for greater consistency in backup strategies across their SQL Server environments. 

More customer value for mission critical applications and hybrid cloud

Beyond in-memory OLTP and these hybrid capabilities, there is a lot more to be excited about in SQL Server 2014:  

  • Enhanced In-Memory ColumnStore for data warehousing – First delivered with SQL Server 2012, the In-Memory Columnstore is now updatable with as much as 5x 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.
  • Greater performance with new query optimization capabilities
  • Enhanced AlwaysOn – Built upon SQL Server 2012, AlwaysOn delivers mission critical availability with up to eight readable secondaries and enhanced online operations.  As I mentioned earlier, you can enroll a Window Azure Virtual Machine as part of your high availability topology.
  • Enhanced security – Achieve greater compliance with new capabilities for separation of duties.  For example, a database administrator can manage data without seeing the sensitive data itself.
  • Greater scalability of compute, networking and storage with Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
    • Greater compute scale – 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 to increase network throughput and more easily move SQL Server between datacenters.
    • Storage virtualization with storage spaces to better optimize storage costs as well as improve resilience, performance and predictability.
    • Greater ease of use for migrating existing apps to a Windows Azure Virtual Machine 

SQL Server 2014 continues to deliver a complete business intelligence (BI) platform for both corporate and self-service BI to help you gain faster insights on any data. Our business intelligence capabilities has received strong recognition across our data platform from analysts becoming stronger with the recent release of Power BI for Office 365. Power BI is our cloud-based business intelligence service that gives people a powerful new way to work with data in the tools they use every day, Excel and Office 365.


Sign-up for the SQL Server 2014 release available April 1

Thank you to our amazing SQL Server and data platform community who have given us significant contributions to this release. For Community Technology Preview 2, there were nearly 200K evaluations of SQL Server 2014 including 20K evaluations with SQL Server 2014 running in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine.  We appreciate your active engagement to evaluate the new release and we are excited to share the final production release with you on April 1. 

For those who want access to the release as soon as possible, please sign-up to be notified once the release is available.  Also, please join us on April 15 for the Accelerate Your Insights event to learn about our data platform strategy and how more customers are gaining significant value with SQL Server 2014.  There also will be additional launch events worldwide so check with your local Microsoft representatives or your local PASS chapter for more information on SQL Server readiness opportunities. 



Eron Kelly

General Manager

Data Platform Group