The following is a blog post by Ted Kummert, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Platform Division. Mr. Kummert is keynoting at this week’s PASS Summit 2012, where he’s announcing new capabilities for Microsoft’s data platform that help businesses accelerate their time to insights with any type of data.


This is an exciting time in the world of data. Big data is growing. The cost to store and process data is rapidly dropping. The scale and economics of cloud computing is enabling broader access to incredible levels of computing power for large and small organizations. Combined, these trends underscore the importance and need to find the value in data.

This week, more than 4,000 IT professionals, database administrators and business intelligence specialists are gathered at the PASS Summit in Seattle where I will share Microsoft’s vision for the modern data platform, showcasing new investments with in-memory computing, big data and business intelligence to accelerate insights with any data in this new world of data.

In-memory computing is a core element of Microsoft’s strategy to deliver a data platform that enables customers to analyze all types of data while also accelerating time to insight. Our approach to in-memory computing is to provide a complete portfolio for all application patterns, built into our existing products that enable rapid insights on any data, structured or unstructured. We’ve been delivering advanced in-memory technologies as part of SQL Server since 2010. Since then, we have shipped more than 1.5 million units to customers, making it the most pervasive data platform of its kind with in-memory technologies built in.

Furthering Microsoft’s commitment to deliver in-memory solutions as part of our data platform, today we are introducing Project codenamed “Hekaton,” available in the next major release of SQL Server. Currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers, “Hekaton” will complete Microsoft’s portfolio of in-memory capabilities across analytics and transactional scenarios. It will provide breakthrough performance gains of up to 50 times, and because it will be built into SQL Server, customers won’t need to buy specialized hardware or software and will be able to easily migrate existing applications to benefit from the dramatic gains in performance.

Today, we are also announcing the next generation of our enterprise class data warehousing appliance, SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW). Built to help customers address their big data needs, SQL Server 2012 PDW will include a new data processing engine called PolyBase, which will enable queries across relational data and non-relational Hadoop data to drastically reduce time to insight with any data.

Today also marks the general availability of SQL Server 2012 SP1, which helps people more easily analyze and visualize their data with tools in Office 2013. Customers can also now seamlessly scale out self-service business intelligence solutions in SharePoint 2013 with the breakthrough performance of scanning 20 billion rows of data per second.

This is an incredible time for the industry. Data has emerged as the new currency of business. Microsoft is providing a complete portfolio of solutions that span the desktop, the data center and the cloud to enable customers to accelerate insights from any data, anywhere. To find out more about today’s announcements visit the SQL Server website.