Enhancements in SQL Server 2014 for Availability and Disaster Recovery

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There has been few new versions of SQL Server released of recent which include SQL Server 2012 and the latest being SQL Server 2014. There are many new features introduced with SQL Server 2014 and there has been many enhancements to the existing features of database engine, SSRS, SSIS and SSAS. Below are list of some of the important Enhancements in SQL Server 2014 for Availability and Disaster Recovery.

Enhancements to Always On Availability Groups which now support up to 8 replicas instead of 4 as in SQL Server 2012. If primary replica or quorum is unavailable, then the secondary replica will still be available as read-only, instead of the Availability group going offline as in SQL Server 2012. Also, now Availability Groups can use SQL Azure for DR purposes rather than creating a secondary Data Centre just for that. Also, SQL Server 2014 allows the hosting of Availability Group data files in Azure, hosting an entire replica in a Windows Azure VM, and performing backups to a URL to store in Windows Azure Blob Storage. Failover cluster instances (FCIs) can now use Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) as cluster shared disks. Many new New DMVs and functions have been introduced with SQL Server 2014.

There are also few security enhancements like Native Backup Encryption which allows DBAs to get rid of the 3-rd party tools with same functionality. Connect Any Database permission allows a login to connect to any database existing or future without having to configure connect privileges on every database Impersonate Any Login allows a login to impersonate any other login, without giving them sysadmin privileges. Also it can use be used to deny impersonation even for logins that inherently have the right to do so. Select All User Securables allows SELECT, but not INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE/MERGE permissions on all user tables in all user databases. Useful for auditors or anyone who needs a read only role across all databases, without having to configure things like db_datareader or individual object-level permissions in every database.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2014

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SQLServerF1 Team
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Performance Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

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There has been few new versions of SQL Server released of recent which include SQL Server 2012 and the latest being SQL Server 2014. There are many new features introduced with SQL Server 2014 and there has been many enhancements to the existing features of database engine, SSRS, SSIS and SSAS. Below are list of some of the important Performance Enhancements in SQL Server 2014.

The most important and most talked feature in SQL Server 2014 is In-memory OLTP, which is a new lock-free, latch-free, optimistic concurrency approach of storing the user data in memory. In some specific scenarios the improvement in performance and/or throughput can be about 40x. Another important feature is Transactions with Delayed Durability. A delayed durable transaction returns control to the client before the transaction log record is written to disk which may increase the transaction performance significantly. Durability can be controlled at the database level, COMMIT level, or ATOMIC block level.

Other enhancements include support of up to 640 cores and 4 TB of RAM on a physical box, however this limit may be lower in a virtual machine, due to operating system and Hyper-V limitations, not SQL Server itself.
Another enhancement is reduction of eager writes to tempdb. The database engine will try to defer or completely avoid any physical writes of data that it assumes will be transient and short-lived. This means less writes in tempdb. There have been significant Improvements to the SQL Server Query Optimizer which include improvement of the component of the database engine that creates and optimizes query plans.
Another improvement include support of clustered columnstore indexes, also many of the data type limitations have been removed, and the index is now writable. New archival compression algorithm, with a much greater compression rate at a slightly higher CPU cost though.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2014

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

 

Reasons to upgrade to SQL Server 2014

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There has been quite few new SQL Server versions released frequently since the launch of SQL Server 2008. Currently the most used versions in most of the organizations are SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 R2 and BDAs or organizations have been planning to upgrade from these versions to next higher version SQL Server 2012, however there has been another new release which is SQL Server 2014. Now there could be confusion about upgrading to which version? should we upgrade from SQL Server 2005/2008 R2 to SQL Server 2012 or 2014?

If you are planning to upgrade to higher version, then it is advisable to go with the latest release of SQL Server 2014, by skipping SQL Server 2012, as you can avoid use this version for longer time and there will be no need for another upgrade in few years, instead we can run with SQL Server 2014 for many years. Along with this there are also few other things which will prove to go ahead with SQL Server 2014 instead of SQL Server 2012, which include the license cost, which is almost same for both SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014. Another important thing is that the end of life cycle date is far to ahead, so there is no force to upgrade to higher versions atleast for next 10+ years, unless we want to use any particular latest feature.

By upgrading directly to SQL Server 2014, you can get chance to use new features of SQL Server 2014 like In-Memory-OLTP, etc and also there are many enhancements to features like AlwaysON and also there are many enhancements to BI technology like SSAS, SSRS and SSIS. So, if you are planning to upgrade, it is better to prefer to go ahead with the latest releases always and in this case it is SQL Server 2014.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2005
SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2014

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

 

Unable to perform Backup or Restore to Cluster Shared Volume(CSV) Using SSMS GUI in SQL Server 2014

I had been playing with new features of SQL Server 2014 and I encountered an issue with SQL Server 2014 Cluster Shared Volume(CSV) related to Backup/Restore. Refer, if you are new to Cluster Shared Volume(CSV) whose supported has been introduced starting SQL Server 2014. This is a Windows feature which has been available since Windows Server 2012, but SQL Server only started supporting from SQL Server 2014.

I have setup two node Windows Server 2012 cluster and installed one SQL Server 2014 clustered instance. I have added a disk as Cluster Shared Volume(CSV).

When I try to backup a database, I encountered an issue where I tried to perform backup of a database and normally we see file structure where we can browse to choose the location where to backup the databases, but I see a blank file structure, so nothing there to select any path. If I try to specify the backup path manually to CSV disk, I get an error as below. as mentioned in the error, I have checked permissions to the CSV path, but no issues with the permission. I am able to create databases on CSV and access them, but just could not use the CSV path to perform backups/restores.

C:\ClusterStorage\MSSQL\MSSQL12.InstanceName\Backups

Cannot access the specified path or file on the server. Verify that you have the necessary security privileges and that the path or file exists.

After some research, I found out couple of workarounds to perform backups or restores.

Alternative 1 – Use T-SQL for performing backup from SSMS Query Analyzer

Alternative 2 – Follow below mentioned steps

– Add a regular cluster disk(Non Clustered Shared Volume(CSV)) to SQL Server Group in the cluster from Cluster Administrator and then add the new disk resource as dependency to SQL Server Group.

– From SSMS, right click on the SQL Instance properties, go to database settings tab, copy the existing path and save it for future reference and then change the path to the new regular disk which we just added, this is just like how we used to be in SQL Server 2012 or previous versions.

– Now try to perform the backup and you will be able to open the locate backup file and locate database files dialog with out any errors. We can also specify the backup path manually to CSV, but the path still will not be visible from the GUI to browse.

– Later, the new regular storage which we added before could be removed and then change back the default backup location to CSV path which we saved before changing to to new disk in Instance properties -> Database Settings tab.

– You should not encounter any more issues and now you can also see CSV path from GUI to choose path to backup/restore.

There is a Connect bug opened for this issue where we cannot see CSV path using SSMS GUI while trying to perform backup/resstore. You may check on the connect page to see any updates on fixing this issue in coming Service Pack/Cumulative Updates.

Hope this was helpful.

Thanks,
SQLServerF1 Team