Microsoft SQL Server Wins in a Big Data World

4 minute read
Virginia Backaitis avatar

In-Memory OLTP Stored Procedures Based on Usage

While Larry Ellison was in the counting house counting all his money (or trophy homes), Microsoft engineers were hard at work spending thousands of hours building SQL Server 2014.

The new platform that’s being released to manufacturing later today will give Oracle users a boatload of reasons to consider ditching, what many consider to be, an overpriced database of a previous era.

Not only that, but it might give those who are considering SAP HANA for its in-memory capabilities and ability to glean insights from analytical andtransactional data areason to pause and look at Microsoft’s new release.

Impressive Growth

There’s a reason Gartner claims Microsoft SQL Server’s market share grew faster than the competition’s. It has gained 2,000 new Enterprise customers since 2010. And, mind you, that growth was generated by SQL Server 2012, not SQL Server 2014, which brings its customers hybrid capabilities and in-memory processing that’s, on average, 1000 percent faster(and as much as 3000 percent faster) than what they are using today.

And speed matters in this day and age. You can win or lose business in less than a second when you’re setting prices for your products. You can help to save a life when you can provide a surgeon with the medical information she needs in 250 milliseconds.

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 promises to help its customers provide those types of wins.

If it delivers as promised, and Microsoft says it’s been battle-tested by dozens of preview customers, results will be won by leveraging in-memory technology across OLTP, data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics workloads.

Microsoft SQL 2014 just may be the most complete in-memory solution on the market.

And get this, Eron Kelly, Microsoft’s general manager, SQL Server Marketing, said there will be no need to buy add-ons or high-end appliances, or even to rewrite applications because SQL Server’s In-Memory OLTP has been built right into the box.

The same holds true for its in-memory column store – it is built into SQL Server and its data warehouse product Parallel Data Warehouse.

In the Cloud or on Premise

It’s not only a cloudy world: Microsoft gets this and therefore gives customers a choice about how they want to deploy SQL Server 2014, on premise or on Widows Azure.

Learning Opportunities

Speedy processing, be it transactional or analytical, and gleaning the right actionable insight faster than your competitors is what it’s all about in the big data age. Here the guy with the most marketing money and biggest mouth does not always win.

Case and point? A national auto parts chain with 50 sites that keeps getting undercut by local competitors.The local competitors change prices according to what their particular market will bear at any point in time.

The national chain looks at the market from a much broader perspective and sets a single price, regardless of where the buyer is located. The result? The national chain loses sales to local retailers who have insights into their markets and can react quickly.

Crunching, analyzing, and gleaning insights from local market data helped the national retailer fix this problem by delivering the most competitive price directly to the consumer.

Microsoft Does Hadoop 2.2, Too

While in-memory processing handles a large amount of “hot data” well, Hadoop is the answer for big data grinding. Today Microsoft is announcing that Windows Azure HDInsight has been updated to take full advantage of the latest Hadoop 2.2 platform, including support for YARN and Stinger Phase 2.

Data Platform of the Future?


Quentin Clark, the corporate vice president of program management for Microsoft SQL Server, has a bold vision for how data will be leveraged in the future.

He sees more than a billion knowledge workers, many of whom use Excel spreadsheets today, gleaning insights and making better informed decisions than have ever been made in the past, using interfaces that are more familiar to them than paper and pen.

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