SQL Server 2016 CTP Released

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 CTP is released, you can download it form here.  It looks like a promising release, there are lots of positives being introduced.  Sure to keep SQL Junkies busy for a while, to list the few functionality I am looking forward to (or rather my clients):

*Copied from Release Blog Announcement (reference)*

Always Encrypted

Data security is top of mind, especially for mission critical applications, and SQL Server has been the enterprise database with the fewest security vulnerabilities six years running.*  To help customers with data security and compliance when using SQL Server on-premises or in the cloud, we are introducing Always Encrypted. Always Encrypted, based on technology from Microsoft Research, protects data at rest and in motion. With Always Encrypted, SQL Server can perform operations on encrypted data and best of all, the encryption key resides with the application in the customers trusted environment. Encryption and decryption of data happens transparently inside the application which minimizes the changes that have to be made to existing applications.

Stretch Database

Today, in the Ignite keynote, we showcased how you can gain the benefits of hyper-scale cloud in the box with new hybrid scenarios including Stretch Database. As core transactional tables grow in size, you may need to archive historical data to lower cost and to maintain fast performance. This unique technology allows you to dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, so your operational data is always at hand, no matter the size, and you benefit from the low cost of using Microsoft Azure.  You can use Always Encrypted with Stretch Database to extend your data in a more secure manner for greater peace of mind.

Additional capabilities in SQL Server 2016 include:

  • Additional security enhancements for Row-level Security and Dynamic Data Masking to round out our security investments with Always Encrypted.
  • Improvements to AlwaysOn for more robust availability and disaster recovery with multiple synchronous replicas and secondary load balancing.

Really there are more functionality, but these turned some heads.  The stretch database seems like a really nice idea.  However I think it will be difficult to implement, as most of the time, when I ask what is archiving strategy for data; I get blank stairs.  So it will be interesting to see how this can be implemented with existing systems, or rather how much effort will be required with updating existing system.

I am going to play with it soon, every SQL Junkie should too :D.


  1. Thanks Chris for keeping this thread updated :). I honestly have not had free cycles to keep up with SQL Server 2016. Thanks again :).

  2. Thanks :). I get internal alerts on most of releases too, but just never enough time in day to keep up with them. Thanks for pasting reference here Chris :D. Hopefully see you in September at Chapters meeting.

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