Microsoft Launches SQL Server 2016 for Hybrid Cloud Databases
The wait's over. Microsoft's cloud-enabled, analytics-friendly database is now generally available.As promised, and after a year of numerous preview releases, SQL Server 2016 is now generally available along with the customer support and software assurance benefits that come with hitting the milestone, announced Microsoft on June 1. SQL Server 2016 is the latest in a growing portfolio of "cloud-first" enterprise products from the Redmond, Wash., technology company. The software is equipped with hybrid cloud capabilities that enable businesses to stretch their database workloads into Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform. In addition to accommodating workloads that can put a strain on on-premises servers, the software's Stretch Database companion service can be used to slash data center storage costs. Customers can toss their warm and cold data onto "low-cost public cloud storage" provided by Azure, Mark Jewett, director of product marketing for Microsoft's Cloud Platform unit, told eWEEK back in March. Whether scaling database workloads to the cloud or using inexpensive cloud storage, SQL's hybrid cloud features are built-in and require little if any changes to applications or management workflows other than enabling the new functionality. SQL Server 2016 was also built with business analytics in mind, according to Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Data group.
"It introduces a new paradigm where all joins, aggregations and machine learning are performed securely within the database itself without moving the data out, thereby enabling analytics on real-time transactions with great speed and parallelism," he explained in a June 1 announcement. "As a result, analytical applications can now be far simpler and need only query the database for analytic results."