Review: SQL Server 2016 boosts speed, analytics

SQL Server 2016 shines with stretch database to Azure, queries against Hadoop, internal R, better security, and higher performance

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Microsoft calls SQL Server 2016 the “biggest leap forward” in the 27-year evolution of the SQL Server database. As we’ll see, despite the excess of hype, the SQL Server 2016 database offers enterprises a number of attractive new capabilities, including built-in R analytics, querying of external Hadoop and Azure data stores, and neat management and data security features.

Further, SQL Server 2016 improves the in-memory OLTP engine, in-memory columnstore, and Azure cloud integrations introduced in SQL Server 2014. It also offers a reasonable staged upgrade for existing SQL Server installations. Whether all of these improvements -- and Microsoft’s offer of free database licenses to current Oracle Database users -- are sufficient to tempt these users to migrate to SQL Server is another question entirely.

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