SQL Server In The Era Of Big Data
Written by Ian Stirk   
Friday, 08 March 2013

Does SQL Server have a future now Big Data is all the rage? This question is addressed in the March 2013 issue of SQL Server Pro, the online subscription-based monthly magazine. 

The title of SQL Server Pro’s cover story for this issue is Michael Otey Discusses Big Data with Microsoft’s David Campbell. Campbell is a Microsoft Technical Fellow, and long-time influencer of the direction of SQL Server. The interview highlights how SQL Server is evolving and incorporating Big Data initiatives.  Amongst the technical topics briefly covered are OData, Polybase, Hadoop, HDInsight, Parallel Data Warehouse, and Hekaton. Campbell argues that in the future, businesses will make increasing use of ambient data, which was previously too difficult to collect and process, to drive new opportunities. The conversation ends on a positive note, suggesting that the forthcoming changes will provide plenty of new opportunities for SQL Server database staff.

My favorite article this month is Kimberly & Paul: SQL Server Questions Answered. There’s a discussion on how you can run queries from different users with a higher priority when you Alter Execution Priority with Resource Governor. You can configure priority, a relatively little known feature, via the IMPORTANCE setting of a workload group. This allows you to prioritize workloads, as well as limiting CPU/memory.

The next Q and A item informs you to Beware of Upgrading a Database with a Read-Only File Group since upgrading from 2008 to 2012 is not possible, and worse, it corrupts the database so it can’t be used by 2008 afterwards. Lastly, there is a walkthrough of How Deleting Records Can Cause Index Fragmentation, leading to a discussion of both logical fragmentation and low-density fragmentation.

With the increase in both the number of breaches in data security, and regulatory requirements, I think we should all be more interested in the article on Encryption Options in SQL Server. These options include:

  • Cell-level encryption
  • Database-level encryption (Transparent data encryption)
  • File level encryption via Windows
  • Transport-level encryption

The author provides an overview of the SQL Server encryption model before describing and providing practical examples of the above encryption options. This is both a wide-ranging and in-depth article.

Itzik Ben-Gan continues to explore the use of CTEs in CTEs with Multiple Recursive Members, Part 2. In this article he uses a recursive CTE with multiple recursive members to draw a Koch snowflake (a type of fractal) with T-SQL.

Long-time SQL Server and reporting specialist William Vaughn discusses Visual Studio 2012 and SSRS 2012 – Still Out of Sync. Vaughn laments the lack of improvements to various known limitations that still exist in the latest releases of SQL Server Reporting Services and Visual Studio and discusses these concerns in detail.

This month's editorial mulls over Why PowerShell for SQL Server? A convincing case is made why you should add PowerShell to your toolkit. PowerShell can call T-SQL via Invoke Sqlcmd cmdlets. Much of what you learn about PowerShell for SQL Server can be incorporated into other windows server products (e.g. Windows, Exchange, and SharePoint). Additionally, it is an advanced .NET object-oriented language, giving access to complex math and functions.

In Industry Bytes, Michael K. Campbell has a very interesting article about Working Around the Licensing Limitations in the SQL Server Standard Edition. Standard edition is limited to 64GB of RAM and a maximum of 4 sockets/16 cores, these limitations can be overcome by the use of named instances and database consolidation, the article expands on these options.

The SQL Views section highlights the importance of the SQL Server Build Numbers which reflect the version and capabilities of the SQL Server you have. The article provides a table that maps the build number to the SQL Server version. You can determine the SQL Server version by entering SELECT @@VERSION in SQL Server Management Studio.


More Information


Related Articles

Improve Performance with SQL Server Pro Magazine February 2013

SQL Server Pro Magazine January 2013

Inside SQL Server Pro December 2012  

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Last Updated ( Friday, 08 March 2013 )