Get ready, SQL Server 2016 coming on June 1st

This post was authored by Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director of Data Platform Marketing.

SQL Server 2016 is the foundation of Microsoft’s data strategy, encompassing innovations that transform data into intelligent action. With this new release, Microsoft is delivering an end-to-end data management and business analytics solution with mission critical intelligence for your most demanding applications as well as insights on your data on any device. Recently, we had the opportunity to showcase the exciting capabilities and what customers are doing with SQL Server 2016 at our Data Driven event. Building on this momentum, today we are excited to announce the following:

  • SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on June 1, 2016. This will allow you to build mission-critical, and business critical intelligent applications with the most secure database1, the highest performance data warehouse2, end-to-end mobile BI on any device, in-database advanced analytics, in-memory capabilities optimized for all workloads, and a consistent experience from on-premises to cloud. These capabilities are built-in to SQL Server for industry-leading low cost of ownership.
  • New SQL Server 2016 performance benchmarks. Today, Lenovo published a new #1 TPC-H 30 TB world record3 using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3950 X6. This result, in addition to recent benchmarks by software and hardware partners, as well as key applications across variety of workloads, proves that SQL Server 2016 is the fastest in-memory database on the planet for your applications.
  • The SQL Server 2016 editions include Enterprise, Standard, Express, and Developer. In March, we announced that the SQL Server 2016 Developer edition will be a free download to enable broad access to and development on the full capabilities of the latest SQL Server release.

SQL Server general availability

SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on June 1, 2016.  SQL Server 2016 is a comprehensive high performance high scale data platform for your most demanding applications and insights on your data on any device. SQL Server 2016 seamlessly manages both relational and beyond relational (JSON, XML, Hadoop) data, seamlessly integrates structured data with Hadoop data, and seamlessly integrates on-premises data with cloud data. SQL Server 2016 is ideal for:

  • Mission critical intelligent applications delivering real-time operational intelligence by combining built-in advanced analytics and in-memory technology without having to move the data or impact end user performance.
  • Enterprise scale data warehousing with enhanced in-memory columnstore that increases query performance by over 100x vs disk based solutions. With SQL Server 2016, you can also access optimized MPP scale out software that can be combined with scale out appliance architecture with our Analytics Platform System (APS).
  • Applications requiring the highest levels of security with new Always Encrypted technology that protects your data at rest and in motion without impacting database performance.
  • Comprehensive business intelligence solutions on mobile devices with an end-to-end mobile BI solution built-in that can deliver insights on any device. You can also manage all of your KPIs, mobile reports and traditional reports from a modern web portal.
  • New big data solutions that require combining relational data with non-relational data with PolyBase technology built-in that allows you to query structured and unstructured data with the simplicity of T-SQL.
  • Hybrid cloud solutions that can reduce storage costs, improve high availability and simplify IT operations with new Stretch Database technology. This keeps more of your historical data at your fingertips by transparently and securely stretching warm and cold OLTP data to Microsoft Azure on-demand without application changes. In addition, faster replicas can be placed in Azure to give you cost effective disaster recovery and backups.

With this new innovation, SQL Server 2016 is the first born-in-the-cloud database, where features such as Always Encrypted and Role Level Security were first validated in Azure SQL Database by hundreds of thousands of customers and billions of queries.

DocuSign is one customer that’s benefitting from the new capabilities in SQL Server 2016. “We picked SQL Server for our platform because of its performance and ability to manage all types of data,” said Eric Fleischman, chief architect and vice president of platform engineering, DocuSign. “With the largest banks, insurers and other financial institutions counting on us we need to deliver secure software for our environment. New features in SQL Server 2016 like Always Encrypted allow us to deliver on this promise.”

SQL Server 2016 delivers ground-breaking performance and scale

Applications and data warehouses need to manage and process greater volumes of data than ever before and we know performance is one of the top reasons customers upgrade to new versions of software. Today, Lenovo published a new #1 TPC-H 30 TB world record using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3950 X6.4 This result, in addition to recent benchmarks by software and hardware partners, as well as key applications, show that SQL Server 2016 is the fastest in-memory database on the planet for your applications.

SQL Server 2016 owns the top TPC-E performance benchmarks5 for transaction processing, the top TPC-H performance benchmarks for data warehousing, and the top performance benchmarks with leading business applications like PROS and KPMG. Customers can also gain tremendous performance improvement by simply upgrading to SQL Server 2016 without application changes (e.g. queries will run up to 34x faster). In addition to leading performance benchmarks, SQL Server 2016 also delivers top price/performance for both workloads.

  • SQL Server 2016 holds two new TPC-E world record price/performance benchmarks.6
  • With today’s announcements, SQL Server 2016 holds #1 TPC-H 30TB7  benchmark using 12TB RAM support in Windows Server 2016.8 This is in addition to the #1 benchmarks9 for TPC-H in 10-TB10 , 3-TB11  and 1-TB12.
  • SQL Server 2016 holds top benchmarks for key industry applications (100X faster with PROS, 2.5X faster with KPMG).13
  • SQL Server 2016 provides tremendous performance gain upon upgrade for faster queries, faster availability and faster operations.14

SQL Server 2016

SQL Server 2016 editions

Today we are announcing the features in our editions, including Enterprise, Standard, and Express. With Enterprise, customers benefit from low cost of ownership with the full capabilities of SQL Server built into a single offering including our mission critical database, high performance data warehouse, rich data integration capabilities, end-to-end mobile business intelligence and built-in advanced analytics.

We also are delivering significant value to our customers with SQL Server 2016 Standard including enhanced performance with basic availability, greater scalability up to 24 cores, modern reports, tabular modeling capabilities and robust security that enables multiple layers of protection and allows you to control access to sensitive data. With Express, available as a free download, customers can build and deploy small scale database applications at no cost.

In addition to Enterprise, Standard and Express, Developer edition provides access to the full capabilities of SQL Server to build and test new mission critical, intelligent applications. In March, we announced that the SQL Server 2016 Developer edition will also be available as a free download. With Express and Developer edition, we want to make the capabilities of SQL Server 2016 broadly available to developers.

SQL Server 2016 Enterprise

You can learn more about Enterprise Edition, or our other SQL Server 2016 editions.

Get ready for SQL Server 2016 today!

We’re so convinced that SQL Server 2016 is the option for our customers that we announced our offer to move your Oracle databases to SQL Server and receive the necessary licenses of SQL Server—free with software assurance.15 You can still take advantage of this offer and get the one data solution that has everything you need built in.

Today, you can download and test out SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate (RC) 3, get ready to upgrade and migrate to SQL Server 2016, and find out more about the Oracle migration offer. Additionally, you can hear more about this announcement during Joseph Sirosh’s keynote at SQL Bits later this week.

1National Institute of Standards and Technology Comprehensive Vulnerability Database update 2/2016.

2TPC-H 30TB and 10TB non-clustered results as of 05/02/16, 04/06/15, 5/04/15, 4/15/14 and 11/25/13, respectively.

3Non-clustered TPC-H 30 TB.

4Non-clustered TPC-H 30 TB.




8Lenovo sets #1 non-clustered TPC-H 30 TB world record using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3950 X6: Using SQL Server 2016 to full take advantage of 12TB RAM support in Windows Server 2016, Lenovo achieved a new world record with 1,056,164.7 QphH (144 cores) on the 30TB configuration. This benchmark is in addition to Lenovo’s #1 3TB world record using SQL Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3850 X6 (72 cores), beating Oracle’s previous best result for the same configuration and 38% performance gain vs. SQL Server 2014 using the same hardware. Hewlett Packard Enterprise also set #1 TPC-H 1-TB world record using SQL Server 2016 on HP Proliant DL380 G9 (44 cores).





13PROS, a world leader in revenue and profit realization solutions, posted 1,000% faster end to end scoring with their solution that has built-in machine learning capability, while KPMG, a leader in audit, tax, and advisory solution, posted 2.5X faster execution time with 10X table compression with their solution using SQL Server 2016.

14Based on internal tests from Microsoft, customers who upgrade to SQL Server 2016 will also experience tremendous performance gain including faster real-time analytics with up to 34x performance on in-memory columnstore queries, faster synchronization and greater availability with up to 7x faster AlwaysOn throughput, 3.6x faster reporting on AlwaysOn replicas, and 7-10x faster on database maintenance (DBCC).

15*Software Assurance subscription required. Some restrictions may apply. Limited time offer—free training and subsidized deployment services available until June 30 2016.