SQL Server 2016 was recently announced. Top new features include:
- Always Encrypted 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 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
- Real-time Operational Analytics & In-Memory: OLTP For In-Memory OLTP, which customers today are using for up to 30x faster transactions than disk based systems, you will now be able to apply this technology tuned for transactional performance to a significantly greater number of applications as well as benefit from increased concurrency. With these enhancements, you also have the unique capability to use in-memory columnstore delivering 100X faster queries with in-memory OLTP for in-memory performance and real-time operational analytics
- Built-in Advanced Analytics, PolyBase and Mobile BI deliver advanced analytics as an additional workload in SQL Server with proven technology from Revolution Analytics. Advanced analytics is more accessible and has increased performance for your advanced analytic workloads by bringing R processing closer to the data and building advanced analytic capabilities right into SQL Server. Additionally, Microsoft has built PolyBase into SQL Server, expanding the power to extract value from unstructured and structured data using your existing T-SQL skills.
- Additional security enhancements for Row-level Security and Dynamic Data Masking
- Improvements to AlwaysOn for more robust availability and disaster recovery with multiple synchronous replicas and secondary load balancing
- Native JSON support to offer better performance and support for your many types of your data
- SQL Server Enterprise Information Management (EIM) tools and Analysis Services get an upgrade in performance, usability and scalability
- Faster hybrid backups, high availability and disaster recovery scenarios to backup and restore your on-premises databases to Azure and place your SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure