SQL Server 2014 – compelling reasons for upgrading

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 was released April 1st 2014. There are many organizations who are only now considering rolling out SQL Server 2012. The effort involved in planning and testing commercial products and custom line of business applications with a new database server version is often one of the largest barriers to upgrading. However, there are some compelling reasons to consider upgrading to SQL Server 2014 earlier than later especially when it comes to delivering comprehensive Business Intelligence solutions to your organization and its decision makers.

SQL Server 2014 delivers on that promise to provide the right tools and insights to everyone anytime and anywhere. There is very little point in gathering data if it can’t be analyzed easily and quickly. In today’s competitive, fast paced and mobile environment, businesses require better access to data to make timely informed decisions. Organizations can better direct the competitive course of their business with user-oriented self-service business intelligence.

Performance, scalability and high availability enhancements are key components for fast analytics. Each version of SQL Server since 2005 has had significant performance improvements and 2014 is no different. In fact it’s the most significant yet.

The biggest performance change in SQL Server 2014 is the support for in-memory OLTP. You can place those tables and stored procedures that need a performance boost into memory. By moving those select tables and stored procedures into memory, you can dramatically reduce I/O and improve performance of your transactional based applications. SQL Server 2014's in-memory columnstore can increase data warehouse queries anywhere from 10 to 100x. Also, SQL Server 2014 with its enhanced integration with Windows Serer 2012 R2, can now scale up to 64 virtual processors and 1TB of memory when running on a virtual machine.

The new analytics platform in SQL Server 2014 is "big data in a box" according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft Analytics Platform System (APS) is a big data analytics appliance for SQL Server. It brings Microsoft's parallel processing data warehouse technology (PDW) together with Hadoop using PolyBase. It enables queries to span across relational data stored in PDW and non-relational data Hadoop that is stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Users can quickly and easily use tools such as PowerPivot to connect to the PDW and pull in data from the PDW tables as well and external Hadoop tables without having to understand Hadoop or HDFS.

The performance enhancements alone offer a compelling reason to upgrade. Combined with the new analytics platform system or even just then enhanced Data Tools for BI and PowerQuery provide further enticements for considering an upgrade.

For more information SQL Server 2014, please see microsoft.com/sql.