SQL Server 2014: Tuned for applications, business intelligence, hybrid cloud

SQL Server 2014: Tuned for applications, business intelligence, hybrid cloud

With SQL Server 2005 nearing the end of its support lifecycle and more companies using the cloud for data storage and backup, many are looking into the latest version of Microsoft’s popular data platform. According to database experts, there’s a lot to like about SQL Server 2014.

With SQL Server 2005 nearing the end of its support lifecycle and more companies using the cloud for data storage and backup, many are looking into the latest version of Microsoft’s popular data platform. According to database experts, there’s a lot to like about SQL Server 2014.

“Microsoft has been laser focused on mission-critical application performance, business intelligence, and support for hybrid cloud environments,” says Frank Cicalese, technical solutions architect for Cisco, “and all of those attributes can be found in SQL Server 2014.”

  • With in-memory technology, SQL Server 2014 delivers breakthrough performance for business applications while also boosting security, scalability, and auditing.
  • New intelligence capabilities that tie directly into data stores enhance the ability to analyze workloads and glean insights from any data source.
  • A common set of tools for deploying and managing databases both on premise and in the cloud eases the transition to the hybrid cloud without sacrificing compliance.

A more powerful, flexible database
“SQL Server 2014 is very appealing for companies moving their databases to the cloud, or pushing their backup data to the cloud,” says Cicalese. “And it delivers security and auditing capabilities that are often required for compliance.”

  • As data types and usage scenarios continue to change, Microsoft is expanding the functionality and flexibility of its data platform.
  • A column store function in SQL Server 2014, for example, allows users to manage and query their data in new ways.

“More organizations have been interested in object databases, document databases, graphical databases, and functionality for specific types of data and specific situations,” says Cicalese. “SQL Server 2014 shows that Microsoft is moving toward a less relational, more flexible database paradigm.”

Pairing up
Server platforms run more applications that require higher performance and high availability. And to balance that with ongoing demand for more efficiency and lower costs can present big management challenges. Running SQL Server on the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) can help ease the burden. Adamant that Microsoft SQL Server and Cisco UCS are greater than the sum of their parts, Cicalese shares his top six reasons for deploying them together:

1. Less risk. “With Cisco UCS’ service profiles and a stateless architecture, SQL Server workloads can be back up and running in five to seven minutes in the event of failure,” he says, “regardless if they are virtualized or bare metal.”

2. More standardization. “Server administrators can configure service profile templates specifically for their SQL Servers,” explains Cicalese, “and foster consistent standardization of their SQL Server implementations throughout the enterprise via these templates.”

3. Better workload management. “Cisco UCS has very tight integration with Microsoft System Center, allowing administrators to monitor, manage, and maintain their SQL Server implementations proactively and efficiently on the platform,” he says.

4. More consolidation. “Companies implementing large, virtualized SQL Server workloads on other blade systems often run out of I/O and have to add more blades or ports,” Cicalese explains. “Cisco UCS provides large amounts of compute and memory as well as converged adapters for better consolidation and performance.”

5. Less complexity. “Cisco UCS is a highly integrated infrastructure with centralized management tools that work closely with Microsoft System Center,” he says, “reducing configuration and administrative complexity.”

6. Better end-user experience. “The Cisco UCS architecture can greatly enhance database implementations by empowering knowledge workers with self-service capabilities that are critical to their role,” Cicalese notes. 

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