The storage tier for the next edition of Microsoft SQL Server will pool together on-premise database storage and Azure public storage. The upshot: the ability to stretch the storage location for individual tables to a bypass pool in Azure, while the database manager maintains the underlying index.

During this morning's keynote at Ignite in Chicago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called this little feature “the biggest breakthrough in database technology that you have ever seen.” Those of us who remember SQL being standardized for the first time might respectfully disagree, though the concept of “granular big storage,” to coin a phrase, may indeed be big.

Talking It Up

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Nadella’s announcement was part of a half-hour CEO keynote, the first half of which was sufficiently peppered with classic Nadella superlatives, such as the power of “business processes in the context of productivity tools.”

The CEO confirmed that Technical Preview Edition 2 of Windows Server 2016 will be distributed to developers this week, and naturally, will be demonstrated to attendees throughout the week.  MSDN subscribers noted the new edition was being posted during the keynote session.

The new edition actually is significant, in ways that previous editions have not been.

Containerization and rapid deployment are being integrated into the new Windows Server, effectively making it a different class of product altogether from its predecessor.  The way virtualization had been evolving up to now, Windows Server 2012 R2 was primarily a host of enterprise SaaS services, often floated in a virtual environment like vSphere – making Windows Server a second-class citizen.

As early demonstrations last week already revealed, containerization in Windows Server 2016 (we can call it that now) can launch a SaaS container into a host space such as an on-premise server or Azure.  The conventional virtualization layer wasn’t necessary, and even VMware’s CTO told me he was impressed by what he saw.

But the technical demonstrations are apparently being reserved for later in the week.  Not to worry, though:  Microsoft will be here until Friday, and so will we.  At the moment of this writing, the keynote is still ongoing, so check back with CMSWire later today and throughout the week for live updates.