Microsoft today released SQL Server 2022, the latest version of its database software, which was originally released more than 33 years ago. Microsoft describes this version as the “most Azure-enabled version of SQL Server to date” and with connections to Azure Synapse Link to enable real-time analytics on the database, Azure Purview for data monitoring, and recovery from disasters with the help of Azure SQL Managed Instance. , this release is, in many ways, the culmination of the cloud-connection groundwork the team began a few years ago.
“From the beginning, the vision [for SQL Server] it was really about, databases were very complex, how do you make that extremely simple? And in many ways, I think that’s been a key reason why it’s lasted so long and also why we’ve evolved,” Rohan Kumar, corporate vice president of Azure Data at Microsoft, told me. “One of the big things I think about with SQL Server 2022 is that we’ve made it completely cloud-connected with Azure.”
He noted that while on-premises workloads are being migrated, Microsoft customers are moving at very different speeds and some, for a multitude of reasons, may never move to the cloud. He argues that’s why the company has always gone for a hybrid approach, but it’s also why many customers started asking how they could get the value of being in the cloud without having to move all their data to the cloud. she. . “That was really the key thesis for why we invested in making this a cloud launch,” Kumar said.
A good example here is the new disaster recovery feature that allows users to replicate their data to SQL Managed Instance in Azure and use it as a backup for their primary on-premises SQL Server, which should make it easier to fail over when The main server goes down.
Kumar also noted that with Synapse Link, SQL Server users can now run real-time analytics on their database without having to set up complex infrastructure. “All you need to do is check a box and say, ‘play this data back in near real time.’ You land it in Synapse and you can have your Power BI report reading that data and the whole pipeline is built for you,” he said.
And for companies that do have a hybrid setup, support for Purview’s data control service now allows them to set their policies, regardless of whether the data resides on SQL Server in the cloud or on-premises.
In addition to working on new cloud-connected capabilities, the team, of course, also worked to improve the overall performance, stability, and security posture of the database. At the center of that work, at least for this release, was the database’s intelligent query processing engine, which can now optimize queries in various more complex scenarios, eg.
Also exciting is a new pay-as-you-go billing model for SQL Server through Azure Arc, Microsoft’s platform for managing cloud and on-premises resources. By using a connection to Azure Arc, which is part of the SQL Server 2022 setup process, on-premises users can now also opt for cloud-enabled billing to manage consumption spikes or for ad hoc use cases.
As Kumar pointed out, the use of SQL Server, despite all the competition available today, continues to grow (although in part, this is because existing customers expand their use).
The new edition of SQL Server is now generally available, including the free Developer and Express editions.