Category Archives: Ted Kummert

What’s Your Favorite Feature of SQL Server 2012?

PASS Summit in November was a perfect opportunity to catch up with SQL Server community members to ask them about their favorite features of SQL Server 2012. We caught up with many of them at a local restaurant and captured their responses in this video to kick off Quentin Clark’s keynote.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the favorite features named were exceedingly diverse, but there were some commonalities in the outcomes people were looking for.  These benefits included:

  • Reductions in application downtime
  • Improvements in database and application performance
  • Improvements in productivity
  • Costs savings
  • Empowering end-users with BI tools to improve decision making

So if any of these outcomes are critical to your next project, watch the full video above and see what features of SQL Server 2012 can help you achieve these aims.  And for those that are interested in the Business Intelligence benefits for your next project, you may want to hear more by attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference on April 10-12 in Chicago.  That would be a great opportunity to catch up and hear more about your favorite feature of SQL Server 2012!

Many of the customers featured in the video have already worked on published SQL Server 2012 customer stories.  You can find a complete list of these case studies at www.microsoft.com/sqlcustomers

David Hobbs-Mallyon, Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

How Fast is Project Codenamed “Hekaton” – It’s ‘Wicked Fast’!

Recently I posted a video about how the SQL Server Community was looking into emerging trends in BI and Database technologies – one of the key technologies mentioned in that video was in-memory.

Many Microsoft customers have been using in-memory technologies as part of SQL Server since 2010 including xVelocity Analytics, xVelocity Column Store and Power Pivot, something we recently covered in a blog post following the ‘vaporware’ outburst from Oracle SVP of Communications, Bob Evans. Looking forward, Ted Kummert recently announced project codenamed “Hekaton,” available in the next major release of SQL Server. “Hekaton” will provide a full in-memory transactional engine, and is currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers. This technology will provide breakthrough performance gains of up to 50 times.

For those who are keen to get a first view of customers using the technology, below is the video of online gaming company bwin using “Hekaton”.

Bwin is the largest regulated online gaming company in the world, and their success depends on positive customer experiences. They had recently upgraded some of their systems to SQL Server 2012 – a story you can read here. Bwin had already gained significant in-memory benefit using xVelocity Column Store, for example – a large report that used to take 17 minutes to render now takes only three seconds.

Given the benefits, they had seen with in-memory technologies, they were keen to trial the technology preview of “Hekaton”. Prior to using “Hekaton”, their online gaming systems were handling about 15,000 requests per second, a huge number for most companies. However, bwin needed to be agile and stay at ahead of the competition and so they wanted access to the latest technology speed.

Using “Hekaton” bwin were hoping they could at least double the number of transactions. They were ‘pretty amazed’ to see that the fastest tests so far have scaled to 250,000 transactions per second.

So how fast is “Hekaton” – just ask Rick Kutschera, the Database Engineering Manager at bwin – in his words it’s ‘Wicked Fast’! However, this is not the only point that Rick highlights, he goes on to mention that “Hekaton” integrates seamlessly into the SQL Server engine, so if you know SQL Server, you know “Hekaton”.

— David Hobbs-Mallyon, Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

PASS Summit 2012 Recap & the Milestones of SQL Server 2012

Microsoft_VP_Ted_KummertLast week marked the completion of a great week at PASS Summit 2012, the world’s largest technical training conference for SQL Server professionals and BI experts alike. During this year’s 3-day conference, nearly 4,000 attendees heard firsthand about the great advances being made toward managing big data. Over the course of two keynote speeches by Microsoft Corporate Vice Presidents Ted Kummert (Data Platform Group) and Quentin Clark (SQL Program Management), Microsoft announced the following:

  • Project codename “Hekaton,” a new in-memory technology that will be built directly into the data platform, will ship in the next major version of SQL Server.  Currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers, Hekaton completes the company’s portfolio of in-memory technologies across analytics, transactions, streaming and caching workloads, enabling business acceleration by shrinking the time from raw data to insights.
  • SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), the next version of Microsoft’s enterprise-class appliance, will be available during the first half of 2013.  SQL Server 2012 PDW includes PolyBase, a fundamental breakthrough in data processing that will enable queries across relational data and non-relational Hadoop data.
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1, which supports Office 2013 by offering business users enhanced, new capabilities for self-service business intelligence using familiar tools such as Excel and Sharepoint, is now available for download here

What’s more, on the final day of PASS Summit 2012, attendees were treated to the presentation, “Big Data Meets SQL Server 2012” by Microsoft Technical Fellow David DeWitt. 

PASS_Summit_2012All the while, conference participants attended a wide variety of technical sessions presented by industry experts in addition to a host of other programs. From on-site certification testing, to hands-on-labs, attendees were able to boost their technical skills using these resources, as well as work through technical issues with top Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) engineers and get architectural guidance from the SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Azure Customer Advisory Teams (CAT). Of course, the learning didn’t stop there; attendees were invited to new, “I Made That!” Developer Chalk Talks, which featured 30 minute casual talks with the Microsoft developers who worked on specific features and functionalities of SQL Server 2012. The topics appealed to many, ranging from AlwaysOn to Hekaton. You can see more great photos from PASS Summit 2012 on the SQL Server Facebook page or access the video interviews with Dave Campbell, Quentin Clark, and David DeWitt available at the SQL Server virtual press room.

And so, as we close on another year of PASS Summit, it’s the perfect time to look back and see how far we’ve come since the launch of SQL Server 2012.  Join us below, as we take a celebratory look at the milestones we’ve hit along the way, and let’s look together toward the bright future ahead!

SQL_Server_2012_Milestones

Seamless insights on structured and unstructured data with SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse

In the fast evolving new world of Big Data, you are being asked to answer a new set of questions that require immediate responses on data that has changed in volume, variety, complexity and velocity. A modern data platform must be able to answer these new questions without costing IT millions of dollars to deploy complex and time consuming systems.

On November 7, we unveiled details for SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), our scale-out Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) data warehouse appliance, which has evolved to fully embrace this new world. SQL Server 2012 PDW is built for big data and will provide a fundamental breakthrough in data processing using familiar tools to do seamless analysis on relational and Hadoop data at the lowest total cost of ownership.

  • Built for Big Data: SQL Server 2012 PDW is powered by PolyBase, a breakthrough in data processing, thatenables integrated queries across Hadoop and relational data. Without manual intervention, PolyBase Query Processor can accept a standard SQL query and join tables from a relational source with data from a Hadoop source to return a combined result seamlessly to the user. Going a step further, integration with Microsoft’s business intelligence tools allows users to join structured and unstructured data together in familiar tools like Excel to answer questions and make key business decisions quickly.   
  • Next-generation Performance at Scale: By upgrading the primary storage engine to a new updateable version of xVelocity columnstore, users can gain in-memory performance (up to 50x faster) on datasets that linearly scale out from small all the way up to 5 Petabytes of structured data.     
  • Engineered For Optimal Value: In SQL Server 2012 PDW, we optimized the hardware specifications required of an appliance through software innovations to deliver significantly greater cost savings, roughly 2.5x lower cost per TB and value. Through features delivered in Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 PDW has built-in performance, reliability, and scale for storage using economical high density disks. Further, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V virtualizes and streamlines an entire server rack of control functions down to a few nodes. Finally, xVelocity columnstore provides both compression and the potential to eliminate the rowstore copy to reduce storage usage up to 70%. As a result of these innovations, SQL Server 2012 PDW has a price per terabyte that is significantly lower than all offers in the market today.

With SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse, Microsoft already demonstrated high performance at scale when customers like HyVee improved their performance 100 times by moving from SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse. SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse takes a big leap forward in performance, scale, and the ability to do big data analysis while lowering costs. For the first time, customers of all shapes, sizes and data requirements from the low end to the highest data capacity requirements can get a data warehouse appliance within their reach.

We are very excited about SQL Server 2012 PDW which will be released broadly in the first half of 2013 and invite you to learn more through the following resources:

  • Watch the latest PASS Summit 2012 Keynote or sessions here
  • Microsoft Official Blog Post on PASS Summit 2012, authored by Ted Kummert here
  • Read customer examples of SQL Server 2008 R2 PDW (HyVee)
  • Visit HP’s Enterprise Data Warehouse for SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse site
  • Find out more about Dell’s SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse here