Announcing SQL Server Stretch Database service preview

Microsoft is pleased to announce a preview of the new SQL Server Stretch Database service. With this preview, SQL Server 2016 users can dynamically stretch their on-premises warm and cold data to an Azure service that is engineered from the ground up for compute capacity and virtually infinite storage. Unlike typical cold data management solutions, your data is always at hand and secure by design. You can now keep as much data as you need indefinitely without long maintenance windows or the high costs of traditional enterprise storage.

The Stretch Database service makes remote query processing possible by providing compute and storage in a way that’s completely transparent to the application; using Stretch Database typically doesn’t require any application changes. If added security is required you can use Stretch Database with new Always Encrypted technology, where sensitive data is encrypted before sending to Azure and the encryption key always remains on-premises—extending data in a more secured manner for greater peace of mind.

How to use Stretch Database with SQL Server 2016

Right now, with SQL Server 2016 RCO, when you enable stretching to Azure from SQL Server Management Studio, the default behavior is to stretch to Azure SQL Database. If you would like to preview the new Stretch Database service, you can enroll in the preview and we’ll provide instructions for configuring your SQL Server 2016 database for this new service. For future builds of SQL Server 2016, Stretch Database service will be the default target location for stretching.

Getting started with Stretch Database

If you’re ready to learn more about Stretch Database, read our getting started articles about Stretch Database in SQL Server books online.

If you’re ready to sign up for the Stretch Database preview, register for preview access. To trial SQL Server 2016, you can download an evaluation copy here.


Join the discussion of the new SQL Server 2016 capabilities at MSDN and StackOverflow. If you run into an issue or would like to make a suggestion, you can let us know on Connect. We look forward to hearing from you!