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What’s New for SQL Server vNext?

Author: Eric Russo | | February 21, 2017

The new release of SQL Server vNext represents Microsoft’s major step geared towards enhancing SQL Server platform features and making it more appealing to users. SQL Server vNext platform gives you great choices of development languages and data types — on-premises and in the cloud. The new features not only bring the power of SQL to Windows OS, but also to Linux and Linux-based Docker containers — a move that came as a surprise to many.

SQL Server vNext Embraces Open Source

Thanks to the new support of SQL Server database on Linux and Linux-based OS, Docker Containers, even Mac OS users will be able to run it. This shows how serious Microsoft is about the Linux aspect, as it seemed to be using Microsoft Research “Drawbridge” to bring SQL to Linux, an adaptation of the Library OS concept they have been working on for the past several years.

The “love for Linux” by Microsoft — and its move as a cloud platform company to take SQL to the open-source platform — “aim to help developers achieve more using the platforms and languages they know,” according to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group. With hybrid systems becoming the norm, Microsoft is trying its best to bridge the gap when it comes to operating systems in a bid to serve their customers better by giving them flexibility.

In its continued journey of “love for the open source,” the software giant has introduced all major features of the relational database engine to Linux, including advanced features such as in-memory OLTP, in-memory columnstores, transparent data encryption, Always Encrypted, and row-level security. This move is designed to make SQL Server the platform of choice across operating systems.

What’s new in SQL Server vNext?

For the first time, the new SQL Server vNext CTP 1.X comes with support for both Windows and Linux, with the ability to deploy to Linux, Windows and Docker — on-premises or in the cloud. Having being built on the power of SQL Server 2016, SQL Server vNext delivers industry-leading OLTP, the least vulnerable database, end-to-end mobile BI, and in-database advanced analytics — from on-premises to the cloud.

Below is a list of what’s new and improved in SQL Server vNext:

  • Improved performance
  • Online index build and rebuild support for non-clustered columnstore indexes
  • The -fc option for allowing recommendations of columnstore indexes
  • The -iq option for allowing the DTA to review a workload from the Query Store
  • Bug fixes for the database engine
  • Support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server v12 SP2 on Linux
  • Bug fixes for core engine and stability improvements on Linux
  • SQL Server Early Adoption Program (EAP)


Docker image (Linux):

  • Fixed the issue of failing to run “mssql-conf” due to missing python installation by adding Python to the image
  • Removed /opt/mssql/data as the default volume
  • Updated to .NET 4.6.2

Overall, SQL Server is the platform of choice across data types, languages/frameworks, on premise and in the cloud, on Windows and Linux. With SQL Server’s consistent and robust programming all your applications can take advantage of SQL Server’s advanced security and performance features, regardless of size. All you need is to develop once and deploy anywhere for best Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). You can scale across editions as you grow for lower TCO.

To learn more about the new SQL Server vNext BI capabilities or about other features of SQL Server 2018,contact Datavail today. With more than 800 employees worldwide, Datavail is the largest database services provider in North America. As a reliable provider of 24×7 managed services for applications, BI/Analytics, and databases, Datavail can support your organization, regardless of the build you’ve selected.

For additional resources please download our white paper, Performance Comparison of SQL Server 2016 Columnstore Indexes with Memory-Optimized Tables

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