Microsoft has shown off Project Hekaton, a key element of the next version of SQL Server that will provide a huge increase in performance over the current standard SQL Server.
Hekaton is the Greek word for a hundred, and Microsoft says the project is designed to provide a hundred times speed improvement for a number of transactional processing operations.
The project was revealed at PASS 2012, where Ted Kummert, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Platform Division, said that Microsoft’s Hekaton is “a fully in-memory transactional engine delivered as a part of SQL Server.” Kummert estimates that Hekaton can provide up to a 50 times increase in performance over the current standard SQL Server.
Hekaton achieves this improvement by optimizing main memory data access. Microsoft already has xVelocity which manages in-memory data manipulation. However, xVelocity is largely based around a columnstore index and optimizes access to columnar storage. Hekaton is row-based, and aimed specifically at the problems of transaction processing workloads.
Writing on the SQL Server blog, Doug Leland, General Manager of the Business Platform Group at Microsoft said that Hekaton is currently in a private technology preview with a small set of customers, and when publicly available will complete Microsoft’s portfolio of in-memory capabilities across analytics, transactions, streaming and caching workloads.
Microsoft also announced at PASS that the next version of SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), will be available in the first half of 2013. SQL Server 2012 PDW will be powered by PolyBase, a new data processing engine that will enable queries across relational data and non-relational Hadoop data. The PolyBase Query Processor can accept a standard SQL query and join tables from a relational source with data from a Hadoop source to return a combined result.
Meanwhile SQL Server SP1 has been made generally available and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center.