PASS Summit 2012: Accelerating Business through Data Insights

Hot on the heels of our big data announcements at the O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World conference last month, my colleague, Ted Kummert, will take the stage at the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) Summit 2012 today in Seattle and make a number of announcements that further Microsoft’s vision for the modern data platform. These announcements will expand on Microsoft’s commitment to help customers gain insights from any data, any size, anywhere to accelerate their business.

As part of this commitment, we will introduce Project codenamed “Hekaton,” a new in-memory technology for transaction processing that will be built directly into the data platform and ship in the next major version of SQL Server.

  • Currently in private technology preview with a small set of customers, “Hekaton” will complete Microsoft’s portfolio of in-memory capabilities across analytics, transactions, streaming and caching workloads.
  • Based on customer testing to date, “Hekaton” will offer performance gains of up to 10 times for existing apps and up to 50 times for new applications optimized for in-memory performance.
  • We will also announce the next version of our enterprise-class appliance, SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), available in the first half of 2013.
  • SQL Server 2012 PDW includes PolyBase, a breakthrough in data processing that will enable unified queries across relational data and non-relational Hadoop data.
  • Built to tackle customers’ big data challenges, SQL Server 2012 PDW will offer next-generation performance at scale and a redesigned architecture to reduce hardware footprint, all at the lowest total cost in the industry.

We’ll have more details about our in-memory strategy and SQL Server 2012 PDW in upcoming blog posts here on Thursday and Friday.

Today also marks the availability of SQL Server 2012 SP1, now available for download.

  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 provides rich integration and support for the new business intelligence capabilities in Office 2013. Powered by our in-memory analytics engine, it enables business users to interact directly with raw data in Excel 2013 with tools such as PowerPivot for data modeling and Power View for stunning interactive data visualization. Download here.
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 also delivers a number of non-BI enhancements listed here.

For more information about today’s announcements, please watch Ted Kummert’s keynote live on the SQL Server website, starting at 8:45 a.m. PT today, and Quentin Clark’s keynote tomorrow, starting at 8:45 a.m. PT. You can also visit the Servers and Infrastructure Virtual Pressroom for additional details.

— Doug Leland, General Manager, Business Platform Group