Gain intelligence over data with SQL Server 2019, now generally available

Today we’re announcing that SQL Server 2019 is generally available. It’s been an amazing journey with a tremendous response from customers. Ever since we announced preview of SQL Server 2019 at Ignite 2018, it has seen 50 percent more adoption than SQL Server 2017, our highest performing SQL Server release to date.

SQL Server 2019 delivers performance, security, and intelligence over all your data

SQL Server 2019 enables enterprises to gain intelligence over all data types, both structured and unstructured, by combining the power of new big data clusters with enhanced data virtualization. These powerful additions to SQL Server enable enterprises to not only store and query big data at scale but also combine it with structured data in whatever database it may reside such as SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and others. SQL Server also includes built-in AI capabilities to enable comprehensive analytics and AI solutions for all your data needs.

Customers like Dr Foster, a Telstra and healthcare analytics company, are delighted to have this capability built into SQL Server 2019.

Dr Foster required a solution that would help limit the amount of data movement, reduce duplication of data sets across the estate, and surface all of our business-critical relational data via a single access point – a unified data platform. With SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters, we are able to analyze our relational data in the unified data platform, leveraging Apache Spark™, HDFS, and enhanced machine learning capabilities, all while remaining compliant.” ​- George Bayliffe, Head of Data, Dr. Foster​

SQL Server is an industry leader when it comes to performance. SQL Server 2019 builds on the mission of providing one of the most performant databases in the market by investing in key capabilities like intelligent query processing, which greatly improves query performance with no application changes, as well as accelerated database recovery which enables faster recovery times irrespective of the number or size of active transactions in the system.

Customers like Itaú-Unibanco, one of Latin America’s leading banks, have seen tremendous performance improvements by upgrading to SQL Server 2019:

“We are really pleased with the performance and results we achieved from using the new SQL Server 2019 features. The intelligent query processing feature has increased the speed and processing power of our business applications. With accelerated database recovery, long-running application transactions can roll back and be recovered in a matter of seconds which is a huge relief for our database administrators, saving us significant time and resources.”​- Edilson Andrade de Albuquerque, Manager of the Database Team, Itaú-Unibanco​

When it comes to security, SQL Server 2019 continues to be one of the most secure databases in the world according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology vulnerability assessment report*. But today, SQL Server 2019 takes security to a new level through Always Encrypted with secure enclaves, which provides the ability to protect your most sensitive data while still allowing robust operations to be executed without losing encryption.


* Data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology vulnerability assessment report.

Hiscox, a business insurance provider, trusts SQL Server 2019 to protect their sensitive customer data:

“With secure enclaves in SQL Server 2019, we can now enforce highly restricted client application-based access to our customers’ most sensitive data without inhibiting our real-world data handling and analysis requirements.” – Victoria Silversmith, Technical Design Authority – Data, Hiscox

Best of all, customers also gain access to all of the new features with no change to the license cost for SQL Server, and customers with Software Assurance will see even greater benefits including a free disaster recovery replica in Azure for business continuity. Learn more about the new Software Assurance benefits and find more details on SQL Server 2019 features in the SQL Server 2019 technical blog.

Get started with SQL Server 2019 on Azure

More companies are finding that SQL Server is best on Azure, and it’s easy to see why. Customers running SQL Server in Azure gain access to innovation for their SQL workloads including harnessing the power of AI to tune and secure their databases, evergreen SQL that never needs to be patched or upgraded with Azure SQL Database, and limitless database storage from Azure SQL Database Hyperscale. Analyst firm GigaOm recently published a report comparing SQL Server performance on AWS RDS to Azure SQL Database. They found SQL Database to be the price-performance leader for mission-critical workloads while costing up to 86 percent less than AWS RDS.1

Price performance graph

Please find more information on performance and price-performance comparisons in the GigaOm report.

Try SQL Server 2019

1Price-performance claim based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in August 2019. The study compared price performance between a single, 80 vCore, Gen 5 Azure SQL Database on the business-critical service tier and the db.r4.16xlarge offering for SQL Server on AWS RDS. Benchmark data is taken from a GigaOm Analytic Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E), and is based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP application environments. Price-performance is calculated by GigaOm as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously for three years divided by transactions per second throughput. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in East US for Azure SQL Database and US East (Ohio) for AWS RDS as of August 2019. Price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the GigaOm Analytic Field Test. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.