Just finished watching the Data Driven event that was broadcasted live from New York earlier today. As expected there was a lot of information about SQL Server 2016 and quite a few visitors telling how their companies used Microsoft SQL Server in their daily business. And these were some big businesses, having impressive amounts of data and transactions to handle. With SQL Server 2016 Microsoft is giving us a feature packed and complete data platform to work with.
This post comes a bit late as our last day in Seattle went on bit longer than expected, but for very positive reasons. We had an ad hoc gathering of Finnish PASS Summit attendees and despite the fact that it was very last minute setup, we got pretty much everyone there. The evening itself was hosted by Marko Hotti, one of the Senior Product Managers at Microsoft who moved to Seattle a while back and is now working on the SQL Server 2016 release. And while there was some (or a lot) talk about SQL Server and the PASS community, we did also get to relax bit after a long week.
The first day of the actual conference was exciting. The Day 1 Keynote by Joseph Siroshi (Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Data Group) was something that I found especially interesting as the examples of data strategy were derived from the healthcare industry, which happens to be the same industry I’m involved with. The funny thing was that we were discussing how technology will shape the future of healthcare industry during the breakfast. And then, less than hour later we’re shown how analytics provided by the Microsoft Data Platform can analyze decoded human genome to provide list of possible health problems. How crazy is that?
Microsoft Ignite is currently happening in Chicago, IL and there’s already been a some rather interesting news coming in. For us who work with the SQL Server the datasheet for SQL Server 2016 release is now available online. I spotted some rather delicious improvements listed there, especially when it comes to high availability and security (multiple synchronous replicas, round robin load-balancing, always encrypted data and tables “stretched” to cloud!). It was also announced that the public preview for SQL Server 2016 will be coming available this summer.
Just a friendly reminder to everyone that just like all good things come to and end so does the extended support for these two Microsoft products. First will be the Windows 2003 R2 with the end of lifecycle date set to July 14 2015 and soon after that SQL Server 2005 with it’s end of lifecycle date set to April 12 2016.
You can still run these products after these dates of course but it’s definitely not recommended and the reason is simple. End of the extended support means that neither of these products will be receiving any patches or security updates, ever. So if you’re not already working on upgrading them, now would be a good time to start.
Just a quick tip this time, but one that can save you lot of time and manual work.
One of the information sources that all administrators, both Windows and SQL Server alike, should follow is the Microsoft Knowledge Base. However as there are new articles coming in daily, going to Knowledge Base and manually searching for them isn’t really a viable option. Even less so if you’re responsible for administering multiple versions of Microsoft software.
When it comes to finding information or learning more about the SQL Server and it’s features, the professional community around the product is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I personally have a score of SQL Server blogs in my bookmarks, I visit SQL Server forums and follow a bunch of world-class experts in Twitter. Basically, there’s a wealth of information out there and unlike many other things in this world, it’s completely free.