Why Use Enterprise Edition?

Glenn Berry explains that the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server is still important for enterprises:

If you are using Columnstore indexes, you get the following performance benefits automatically, when you use Enterprise Edition:

  • Aggregate Pushdown: This performance feature often gives a 2X-4X query performance gain by pushing qualifying aggregates to the SCAN node, which reduces the number of rows coming out of that iterator.

  • Index Build/Rebuild: Enterprise Edition can build/rebuild columnstore indexes with multiple processor cores, while Standard Edition only uses one processor core. This has a pretty significant effect on elapsed times for these operations, depending on your hardware.

  • Local Aggregates: Enterprise Edition can use local aggregations to filter the number of rows passing out of a SCAN node, reducing the amount of work that needs to be done by subsequent query nodes. You can confirm this by looking for the “ActualLocallyAggregatedRows” attribute in the XML of the execution plan for the query.

Glenn’s focus is around columnstore indexes and DBCC CHECKDB, but there are additional benefits as well, with the separator being improved performance rather than different feature surface areas.

New Powershell And SQL Server Previews For Linux

Max Trinidad notes that there are new versions of Powershell and SQL Server previews available for Linux users:

To download the latest PowerShell Open Source just go to the link below:

https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell

Just remember to remove the previous version, and any existing folders as this will be resolved later.

To download the latest SQL Server vNext just check the following Microsoft blog post as the new CTP 1.1 includes version both Windows and Linux:

SQL Server next version Community Technology Preview 1.1 now available

Max has additional links and resources in that post as well.

SQL Server vNext CTP 1.1

Denis Gobo notes that there’s a new CTP for SQL Server:

TRANSLATE
This acts like a bunch of replace statements, instead of REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(SomeVal,'[‘,'(‘),’]’,,’)’),'{‘,'(‘),’}’,,’)’) you can do the following which is much cleaner
SELECT TRANSLATE('2*[3+4]/{7-2}', '[]{}', '()()');

Running that will return 2*(3+4)/(7-2)

The translate function looks very interesting.  Click through for a few more goodies and get ready for the never-ending release cycle.

The Limits Of SP1

Parikshit Savjani explains limitations in SQL Server 2016 SP1:

With the recent announcement of SQL Server 2016 SP1, we announced the consistent programmability experience for developers and ISVs, who can now maintain a single code base and build intelligent database applications which scale across all the editions of SQL Server. The processor, memory and database size limits does not change and remain as–in all editions as documented in the SQL Server editions page. We have made the following changes in our documentation to accurately reflect the memory limits on lower editions of SQL Server. This blog post is intended to clarify and provide more information on the memory limits starting with SQL Server 2016 SP1 on Standard, Web and Express Editions of SQL Server.

The development space has been expanded, but there’s still good reason for enterprises to use Enterprise Edition.

Microsoft R Server 9.0

Kevin Feasel

2016-12-08

R, Versions

David Smith reports that Microsoft R Server 9.0 is now available:

Microsoft R Server 9.0, Microsoft’s R distribution with added big-data, in-database, and integration capabilities, was released today and is now available for download to MSDN subscribers. This latest release is built on Microsoft R Open 3.3.2, and adds new machine-learning capabilities, new ways to integrate R into applications, and additional big-data support for Spark 2.0.

There’s also a new version of Microsoft R Client and Microsoft R Open.

New Version Of APS

James Serra notes that SQL Server Extremely Expensive Edition has a new version out:

This release is built on the latest SQL Server 2016 release, offers additional language surface coverage to aid in migrations from SQL Server and other platforms, adds PolyBase connectivity to the current versions of Hadoop from Hortonworks, additional PolyBase security with Kerberos support and credential support for Azure Storage Blobs, greater indexing and collation support and improvements to the setup and upgrade experience with FQDN support.

The majority of these capabilities have shipped in the monthly releases of Azure SQL Data Warehouse service and/or SQL Server 2016 following the cloud first principle of shipping, getting feedback, and improving rapidly across all of our products.

Click through for the list of enhancements.  There are quite a few of them.

Uninstalling SQL Server 2016 SP1

David Alcock sounds an important note:

All of that is very good however a word of warning has been issued from the MSSQL Tiger Team if you are using SP1 on the “lower” version:”you might see some unforeseen errors or databases might even be left in suspect state after uninstallation of SQL Server 2016 SP1. Even worse would be if the system databases are using new features for example, partitioned table in master database, it can lead to SQL Server instance unable to start after uninstalling SQL Server 2016 SP1″.

This makes sense:  if you’re using new functionality and try to revert back to a version without that functionality available, there could be an issue.  David links to a test script you can use to see if your database is using any new features.

Connect Announcements

James Serra walks through all of the Microsoft Connect(); announcements:

Microsoft Connect(); is a developer event from Nov 16-18, where plenty of announcements are made.  Here is a summary of the data platform related announcements:

SQL Server 2016 SP1 was the huge announcement, but there are several other interesting announcements, including Kafka for HDInsight.  Click through for the list.

Columnstore On Standard Edition

Niko Neugebauer extends his Columnstore series with a post on what you can do with these indexes in Standard Edition:

Given the improvements and the availability of the of the programability surface for every edition (with some insignificant & logical limitations) that I have blogged about in
SQL Server 2016 SP1 – Programmability Surface for everyone!, I believe everyone using Microsoft Data Platform has rejoyced greatly. Of course, now everyone can have Columnstore Indexes on every SQL Server edition!
There are some noticeable limitations that were announced right from the start, such as the maximum size of the Columnstore Object Pool (you can find more information about it here – Columnstore Indexes – part 38 (“Memory Structures”)), but there are more limitations to the Standard Editions and inferior ones and it is extremely important to know them, to understand them in order to make the right decision – when your Business is ready/needed to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition of the SQL Server.

If you’re on Standard Edition and excited about using Columnstore, do read Niko’s post.  Columnstore won’t work as fast as it does on Enterprise Edition (gotta have a reason to upgrade) but based on what he’s shown thus far, Columnstore is still a good reason to upgrade to 2016 SP1 if you’re on Standard Edition.

Upgrade To 2016?

Kendra Little explains why upgrading to 2016 is a good idea:

I know most of y’all care about Standard Edition.

With SP1, you can use all sorts of (formerly) super-expensive features like data compression, partitioning, Columnstore, Change Data Capture, Polybase, and more in Standard Edition.

A few features have scalability caps in “lower” editions. There’s a memory limit for In-Memory OLTP (aka Hekaton), and Columnstore. Columnstore also has restrictions on parallelism.

I’ll also throw out my experience as an anecdote:  2016 has been more stable than 2014 in our environment.  I don’t regret going to 2014, but we’re better off on 2016.

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