Pre-install Information for SQL Server 2016

SQLServerF1

Microsoft has officially released new SQL Server 2016 on June 01 2016 for public to download and install it on their development, test or production servers. It is important to test the applications thoroughly before moving to production environment, as there may be some changes required to the application to work seamlessly. If the application is vendor application, then contact the respective vendor and get approval to use new SQL Server 2016, most times, vendors releases new version of the application which works fine on new versions of SQL Server. Although, installing and using SQL Server 2016 is straight forward, but important to take care of things prior to install to ensure no hiccups later for the installation process. SQL Server 2016 has a critical pre-requisite for updated Visual Studio VC++ 2013 Runtime Libraries. To install or check if this update is required on your system, refer KB316398 for further information.

Review SQL Server 2016 system requirements – Memory Minimum requirement for Express Editions is 512 MB, All other editions: 1 GB, however recommended for Express Editions is 1 GB and for All other editions is at least 4 GB and should be increased as database size increases to ensure optimal performance. Processor speed required minimum is x64 Processor: 1.4 GHz, however recommended is 2.0 GHz or faster. Type of x64 Processor is AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64, Intel Xeon with Intel EM64T support, Intel Pentium IV with EM64T support. Important point to note is SQL Server 2016 is supported on x64 processors only. It is no longer supported on x86 processors. WOW64 is not supported for SQL Server 2016. Review SQL Server release notes – check the release notes of SQL Server before installation to get all the details.
Download and install full-featured software for a 180-day trial edition or buy a licenseed edition for production environments and developer edition for development purposes. We may also choose to use express edition based on our requirement, if we are not using all features.

Make sure the account which used to RDP to the server has administrative rights on the computer to install SQL Server 2016. We will have SQL Server 2016 DVD Image or ISO file for the installation.
The Microsoft SQL Server 2016 release is available for testing purposes only and should NOT be installed and used in production environments.
Side-by-Side installation with down-level production SQL Server instances as well as in-place upgrades of down-level production SQL Server instances, is supported for SQL Server 2008 and higher.
If you have questions or concerns that come up during your testing and evaluation, we encourage you to use the MSDN forum for SQL Server 2016 to search for answers or ask new questions.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2016

Thanks,
SQLServerF1 Team
In-Depth Blogs on SQL Server, Information about SQL Server Conferences and Events, Frequently asked questions, SQL Server Trainings

 

New Details regarding SQL Server on Linux and SQL Server 2016 Released on June 1st

SQLServerF1

Microsoft has officially released SQL Server 2016 on June 1st 2016. We can download an evaluation edition from here. This trial edition expires after 180 days, after which we will need to upgrade it to a licensed edition or download free express edition if the features used are minimal. Microsoft has introduced many new features with SQL Server 2016 in different areas. Some of the popular features include, Stretch database, Always Encrypt, Data Masking, also promises of significant improvement in the performance, much closer integration with SQL Azure, temporal tables, query store, Row level security, changes to upgrade advisor, etc. Initially Microsoft has released release candidate versions RC0, RC1, RC2 and RC3, which was downloaded and tested by many users in the DBA and Developer community and by some organizations and enough feedback was provided to improve the product. There were many bugs identified with the initial RC versions on various features, which were subsequently fixed in later RC versions.

Now SQL Server 2016 official RTM version has been launch on June 1st 2016. Once you install the new SQL Server 2016 RTM version, then you will see the build number as 13.0.1601.5. Some insights from Microsoft release documentation are “SQL Server 2016 is here! It is the biggest leap forward in Microsoft’s data platform history with faster transactions and queries, deeper insights on any device, advanced analytics, new security technology, and new hybrid cloud scenarios. SQL Server 2016 delivers breakthrough mission-critical capabilities with in-memory performance and operational analytics built-in. Comprehensive security features like new Always Encrypted technology helps protect your data at rest and in motion, and a world class high availability and disaster recovery solution adds new enhancements to AlwaysOn technology.You can also gain the benefits of hyper-scale cloud with new hybrid scenarios enabled by new Stretch Database technology that lets you dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure in a secured way so your data is always at hand for queries, no matter the size. In addition, SQL Server 2016 delivers a complete database platform for hybrid cloud, enabling you to easily build, deploy and manage solutions that span on-premises and cloud.”

Another exciting news from Microsoft team is the announcement of further details regarding SQL Server support on Linux Operating System. So far SQL Server was supported only on Windows environment, but not there is lot of work in progress to get SQL Server work on linux environment too, just like it works on a Windows environment. SQL Server version which works on linux has not yet been released with SQL Server 2016, instead it may be released as a sub version later or as a new SQL Server version, but looks mostly it will be a sub version of SQL Server 2016 R2 or as part of a service pack. If you want to get hands on with SQL Server 2017 linux version, then at this point all we can do is sign up for Microsoft SQL Server on Linux and wait for further updates. You can register here for Microsoft SQL Server on Linux preview. Also, there has been a video released with small demos on installing and running SQL Server on linux environment. You can watch the video here. Important thing to note is that only database engine is so far been created and tested, but other services like Integration services, Reporting services, Analysis Services are still going to take some time to get on to the linux environment.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2016

Thanks,
SQLServerF1 Team
In-Depth Blogs on SQL Server, Information about SQL Server Conferences and Events, Frequently asked questions, SQL Server Trainings

 

Azure Pricing for of Stretch Database in SQL Server 2016

SQLServerF1

New feature which was introduced with SQL Server 2016 is Stretch Database which migrates our historical data transparently and securely to the Microsoft Azure SQL cloud. Stretch Database provides some benefits to the users, but also has its own limitations which make it less likely to be used as of now, unless Microsoft comes up with significant improvements. Stretch Database in a SQL Server instance requires at least one table. It then silently begins to migrate the historical data to Azure SQL Database. If we are storing historical data in a separate table, then we can migrate the entire table. If our table contains both historical and current data, then we can specify a filter predicate to select the rows which need to be moved to Azure SQL database. Also, importantly, Stretch Database ensures that no data is lost if a failure occurs during migration. There is also retry logic to handle intermittent connection issues that may occur during migration.

Stretch Database lets us choose retention times of our choice even for large amounts of data without breaking the bank. Depending on our performance requirements, we can choose a performance level, and then scale up or down as needed. Stretch Database charges for Compute and Storage are charged separately, so we choose to only pay for what we use. Compute usage is represented as Database Stretch Unit (DSU) and customers can scale up and down the level of performance/DSUs that we need at any time. We have options for pricing based on different locations based on the currency. If we consider USD, below are the sample pricing options for usage of computing resources,
PERFORMANCE LEVEL(DSU) PRICE
100 $1.25/hr (~$930/mo)
200 $2.50/hr (~$1,860/mo)
300 $3.75/hr (~$2,790/mo)
400 $5/hr (~$3,720/mo)
500 $6.25/hr (~$4,650/mo)
600 $7.50/hr (~$5,580/mo)
1000 $12.50/hr (~$9,300/mo)
1200 $15/hr (~$11,160/mo)
1500 $18.75/hr (~$13,950/mo)
2000 $25/hr (~$18,600/mo)

Another pricing part which we need to pay separately for is storage. Storage rates are based on standard RA-GRS Page Blob rates. Storage transactions are not billed; customers only pay for data stored, not storage transactions.
Here Data Transfers refer to data moving in and out of Azure data centers other than those explicitly covered by the Content Delivery Network or ExpressRoute pricing.
LRS GRS RA-GRS
COOL HOT COOL HOT COOL HOT
First 100 TB / Month $0.01 $0.024 $0.02 $0.048 $0.025 $0.061
Next 900 TB / Month $0.01 $0.0232 $0.02 $0.0463 $0.025 $0.0589
Next 4,000 TB / Month $0.01 $0.0223 $0.02 $0.0446 $0.025 $0.0567

LOCALLY REDUNDANT STORAGE (LRS) – Makes multiple synchronous copies of your data within a single datacenter.
ZONE REDUNDANT STORAGE (ZRS) – Stores three copies of data across multiple datacenters within or across regions. For block blobs only.
GEOGRAPHICALLY REDUNDANT STORAGE (GRS) – Same as LRS, plus multiple asynchronous copies to a second datacenter hundreds of miles away.
READ-ACCESS GEOGRAPHICALLY REDUNDANT STORAGE (RA-GRS) – Same as GRS, plus read access to the secondary datacenter

OUTBOUND DATA TRANSFERS ZONE 1* ZONE 2* ZONE 3*
First 5 GB/Month Free Free Free
5 GB – 10.0 TB $0.087 per GB $0.138 per GB $0.181 per GB
Next 40 TB
(10-50 TB)/month $0.083 per GB $0.135 per GB $0.175 per GB
Next 100 TB
(50-150 TB)/month $0.07 per GB $0.13 per GB $0.17 per GB
Next 350 TB
(150-500 TB)/month $0.05 per GB $0.12 per GB $0.16 per GB

Outbound data transfers are charged at regular data transfer rates. A sub-region is the lowest level geo-location that you may select to deploy your applications and associated data. For data transfers (except CDN), the following regions correspond to Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3.

Zone 1: US West, US East, US North Central, US South Central, US East 2, US Central, Europe West, Europe North
Zone 2: Asia Pacific East, Asia Pacific Southeast, Japan East, Japan West, Australia East, Australia Southeast
Zone 3: Brazil South.

There can be discounts to these prices based on region, number of servers, amount of compute and storage brought.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2016

Thanks,
SQLServerF1 Team
In-Depth Blogs on SQL Server, Information about SQL Server Conferences and Events, Frequently asked questions, SQL Server Trainings

 

New Stretch Database Feature in SQL Server 2016

SQLServerF1

Many new features gets introduced with each new version of SQL Server releases. Even with SQL Server 2016 many new features were introduced, one of which is Stretch database, which migrates our historical data transparently and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Stretch Database provides some benefits to the users, but also has its own limitations which make it less likely to be used as of now, unless Microsoft comes up with significant improvements. Some of the benefits to decide on using SQL Server 2016 Stretch Database feature are, Provides cost-effective availability for cold data(historical data which is not accessed much, but still available to support user queries from Azure SQL database). Using this feature does not require any changes to the applications, this feature takes care of it internally and transparently. Moving cold or not frequently used data to Azure SQL database will reduce the maintenance efforts on the production data like less times required for backups, indexing statistics updates, etc. Stretch Database in a SQL Server instance requires at least one table. It then silently begins to migrate the historical data to Azure SQL Database. If we are storing historical data in a separate table, then we can migrate the entire table. If our table contains both historical and current data, then we can specify a filter predicate to select the rows which need to be moved to Azure SQL database. Also, importantly, Stretch Database ensures that no data is lost if a failure occurs during migration. There is also retry logic to handle intermittent connection issues that may occur during migration.

Stretch database will help Microsoft in making many of the customers to buy Azure SQL subscription. Following are more details regarding the benefits of using this new feature Stretch database in SQL Server 2016.
cost-effective availability for cold data – Stretch database feature allows us to transfer warm or cold data dynamically from SQL Server to Microsoft Azure SQL database and this entire process is transparent to end users, application developers and DBAs. Unlike typical cold data storage, our data will be always online and available to run queries against it. We can also specify data retention timelines to keep as much of data as required on the Azure SQL database and query it. Azure SQL databases are considered as less cost options compared to on-premise servers, so this will benefit using the low cost of Azure rather than scaling expensive, on-premises storage. We can choose the pricing tier and configure settings in the Azure Portal to maintain control over price and costs and we can scale up or down as needed.

No changes required to queries or applications – This is very important part of this feature. In traditional archiving plans, there are lot of changes required from the application side, but this is greatly reduced with stretch databases. Microsoft claims that there are no changes required at all with using this feature, because the data access to cold data on Azure SQL database is handled by SQL Server internally.
Reduced on-premises data maintenance – Because we are moving old data to Azure SQL database, we will have less amount of data on our on-premise databases, which will reduce the amount of time takes for tasks like backups, Index and statistics maintenance, etc. Also, the storage requirements on-premise will be greatly reduced this maintenance or storage will be reduced and can also use the additional storage available on-premise for other databases.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2016

Thanks,
SQLServerF1 Team
In-Depth Blogs on SQL Server, Information about SQL Server Conferences and Events, Frequently asked questions, SQL Server Trainings

 
1 2