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Exploring SQL Server 2019’s New Features: Part 2

Author: George Criaris | 3 min read | January 7, 2021

Every company wants its database operations to be secure, available, resilient, and hassle-free. Microsoft SQL Server 2019’s release has implemented many new features and changes that build upon these areas. Here are four significant improvements offered in this release.

SQL Server 2019 Availability Groups

You no longer need an Availability Group listener to use secondary to primary replica connection redirection. When client applications connect to an Availability Group replica, these connections are redirected to the primary replica. You’re also able to use five replicas, which are set up as one primary and four secondaries. These replicas have automatic failover to improve availability.

If you’re a Software Assurance SQL Server user, then you also get access to three High Availability Disaster Recovery enhanced benefits. These include:

  • On-premises passive SQL Server instances installed in a separate server or operating system environment, or OSE, to support high availability operations
  • On-premises passive SQL Server instances on a separate server or OSE, intended for disaster recovery
  • Azure-based passive SQL Server instances for disaster recovery
  • These enhanced benefits provide you with comprehensive options for dealing with disasters and maintaining the high availability of your databases. You never know precisely what might happen in the future, but SQL Server 2019 helps you prepare for many possibilities.

SQL Server 2019 Resumable Operations

Nothing is more frustrating than having rebuilding operations get interrupted because the database maintenance window ended. You can now pause index rewrites and resume them at the next opportunity, rather than losing all of your progress. The operations you can resume with this feature include building and rebuilding online clustered columnstore indexes, building online rowstore indexes, and scanning for Transparent Data Encryption.

SQL Server 2019 Accelerated Database Recovery

Every second counts when you’re recovering databases. Your user experience, productivity, and revenue are just a few of the things that get impacted by databases that are slow to recover. SQL Server 2019 adds Accelerated Database Recovery, which uses a redesigned SQL Server Database Engine recovery process. When you need to rollback long-running transactions, restart after a failover, or deal with another non-clean shut down, this feature speeds up the process.

SQL Server 2019 Secure Enclaves

SQL Server 2019 builds upon the Always Encrypted functionality from 2016 to address some of its limitations. This security improvement allows you to create a protected region of memory in the SQL Server process called Secure Enclaves. The plaintext data in these encrypted columns can be processed without exposing this data. Since this is a trusted execution environment, it works well when you need to handle sensitive data or data that falls under certain regulations.

SQL Server 2019 is an exciting addition to your organization’s database toolkit. If you’re still on the fence about upgrading to this version, get our white paper, 7 New Features Strengthen SQL Server 2019 and explore more features added to this release.

Read part 1 of this blog here: Exploring SQL Server 2019’s New Features: Part 1.

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