Today Quentin Clark announced SQL Server 2014 CTP2 is now available. It’s both available for public download and it’s the final CTP before going RTM.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you but my favorite feature of 2014 so far is Hekaton. I’ve been a prod DBA for many years and speeding up OLTP is a big love of mine. So anyway, we got a really nice demo of Hekaton and columnstore and how they can update app data in a fraction of the time they could before.

You can also now backup sql DBs to azure storage. Of course, I doubt it really has to be azure, because the backup flag is ‘to URL’ instead of ‘to DISK’, so I would imagine it’s any internet addr. I haven’t verified that though.

They also introduce managed backups where they’ll backup the DB once they’ve determined that it’s changed enough. This can be helpful for small shops who don’t want to have to think about backups, and who don’t have highly changing data.

As well, SQL finally can encrypt backups and they do it in all versions.

There’s also a feature pack you can download for SQL2K8 that lets you backup those DBs to azure as well.

 

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