Microsoft has contuned to strengthen its leadership in the data platform space with its recent release this month of SQL Server 2019, its flagship database management platform. SQL Server 2019 continues to build on previous releases to grow SQL Server as a platform that gives choice in development languages, data types, on-premises or cloud environments, and operating systems. So, if you're new to SQL Server or you're one of the many already taking advantage of it, read on as we'll explore what's new in this latest release and how you can leverage it to take your data assets to the next level.
But first, just a recap on SQL Server. SQL Server has been a dominant database platform for many years providing sophisticated access to, and manipulation of, data. SQL Server has become the industry leader in performance and is now a hugely impressive platform with a stack of benefits including:
- Powerful business intelligence data tools
- Advanced security and protection
- Stability of data virtualisation
- Streamlined installation
- Visual data exploration and interactive, real-time analysis
- Outstanding performance features
- Lower ownership costs
- Choice and flexibility of language and program integration
So, What's New In SQL Server 2019?
- SQL Server Big Data Clusters combining the power of SQL Server, Hadoop, Apache Spark™, and Kubernetes to provide an end-to-end data and machine learning platform
- Data virtualisation through Polybase
- Intelligent query processing to gain performance with no application changes
- Mission critical security with Always Encrypted with Secure Enclaves
- Maximum database availability with accelerated database recovery
- Hosting your data on the platform of your choice with compatibility whether that be Windows, Linux, Containers, or Kubernetes
If you'd like more detail about each feature of SQL Server 2019 you can check out Microsoft's documentation. We'll take a look below at 3 key focus areas that stood out in the release.
3 Key Focus Areas For SQL Server 2019
SQL Server 2019 provides a complete Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to apply your workloads, with increased uptime and reduced maintenance time. While also providing new features to assist with compliance, continuous performance monitoring and accelerated database recovery. However, if we were to summarise, there are essentially three key areas that the new features packed into SQL Server 2019 can assist with to enhance business performance, these are:
Better access & use of big data & siloed data
If like many you have multiple points of data capture and storage across your business that are incompatible, then you’ll know why siloed data can be such a problem. SQL Server 2019 takes a giant leap forward with unlocking siloed data, especially via Big Data Clusters. You can query data from multiple sources – in any form - and use it in a range of analysis tasks. Big Data Clusters allow you to query external data sources without having to move or copy the data. Data is stored in a scalable storage pool. You can combine this high volume Big Data with relational data for powerful analytics, while AI and machine learning tasks are enabled including Spark and built-in AI tools.
Powerful insights with data virtualisation
Duplicating data causes a number of problems for IT teams and businesses as a whole. SQL Server 2019's data virtualisation helps overcome this. You can access data in places where it is already stored without having to duplicate into one central storage place, so you can gain powerful insights by combining data. Plus if you use data hub, you can see if there is value in that data without wasting time ingesting, transforming and analysing from multiple sources.
Saving time with deployment using Kubernetes
When speed is important, the type of deployment is crucial. SQL Server 2019 offers unparalleled data infrastructure deployment and can turn a half day 50 terabyte deployment task, into an action that’s complete in under a minute. Data infrastructure deployment is much broader than just upgrades. It’s about how applications interact with each other, how data is saved, served and stored and what processes have to happen for this to all take place. Deployment is the third stand-out item of SQL Server 2019. With Kubernetes, everything is deployed as an image so everything is preconfigured. The process of deployment is significantly simplified and streamlined. In fact, SQL Server 2019 helps you:
- Reduce risk & provide consistency across all environments because development, test and production environments are 100% parallel there is no need to rely on anyone having to physically install the image
- Leads to significant time savings - you can deploy SQL Server 2019 with basically one click
- Introduce changes fast, even multiple times a day. Containerisation means you can regularly test and roll out changes. Simply deploy the image and you can then introduce that immediately to the environment.
If your business is looking to modernise its data platform or you're running SQL Server 2008 R2 or earlier, that are near End of Life, then reach out to Inside Info , as Microsoft Data & Analytics specialists we can take you through how we can help.