Redmond whips sheet off first SQL Server 2016 public preview

Even Microsoft's betas now get the cloudy updates-all-the-time treatment

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Microsoft's given itself a busy day, releasing the first technology preview of SQL Server 2016 and also letting us all know about updates to its StorSimple NAS boxen and Azure Media services.

Here's what Microsoft says are the good bits of “Community Technology Preview (CTP2) for SQL Server 2016”:

  • Encryption, all the time, everywhere. Microsoft has a new thing called “Always Encrypted” that it says means “SQL Server can perform operations on encrypted data and best of all, the encryption key resides with the application in the customers trusted environment. Encryption and decryption of data happens transparently inside the application which minimizes the changes that have to be made to existing applications.”
  • Hybrid cloud databases - “stretch databases” in Redmond-speak - that let you store some data on-premises and some in Azure.
  • In-memory OLTP for “a significantly greater number of applications [with] increased concurrency.

The preview can be yours here and Microsoft's given it the cloudy frequent update treatment, promising “periodic updates [and] access to new capabilities and features as soon as they are available for testing” rather than having to download and install the next preview.

The StorSimple 8000 appliance gets “Update 1”, adding SDK support for Azure PowerShell and Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) support; plus data migration tools “that ease the way for customers upgrading from 5000/7000 series”. Hurrah! An upgrade treadmill! Microsoft has also popped some StoreSimple boxen into the dedicated Azure clouds it runs for the US government.

Redmond's also flicked the switch on a preview of video encoding services in Azure, for those of you keen on “ an end to end live video workflow” that resides entirely in the Redmondian cloud. ®

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