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Microsoft unveils SQL Server 2012

Jack Loo | March 13, 2012
New platform promises better data insights and cloud-ready capabilities

Microsoft is positioning its new SQL Server 2012 as its main ticket into the big data market space.

"Big Data is a real and pressing threat to our customers who want to make sense of surmounting data explosion and how they can use that data to drive business growth," said Harish Aitharaju, server & tools business lead, Microsoft Singapore.

harish aitharaju

Enhancements over the 2010 version, SQL Server 2008 R2, include the new Power View browser-based tool offers interactive insights through visualisations and data mashup capabilities. Aitharaju referred to this feature as "managed self-service BI" where users can port data to SharePoint or PowerPoint.

According to an IDC white paper on SQL Server 2012, the new tool can deliver on average 10 times faster the query performance of prior versions of SQL Server, thanks to the ColumnStore Index which enables the caching of query-critical data from the data warehouse in memory-based columnar format.

IDC also noted that the platform offers cloud-ready connectivity that supports hybrid cloud environments. "With the new SQL Server Developer Tools, developers will only need to build application once and then IT teams can deploy them on their choice of data centres, appliances, private clouds and the Windows Azure public cloud, including SQL Azure," said Aitharaju.

Growing data

Research from Gartner indicates that information volume is growing worldwide at a minimum annual rate of 59 per cent with some 85 per cent of the data being unstructured and not readily suited for traditional data management systems.

"There is not just going to be an increase in the volume of big data, there is going to be a dramatic shift in the types of data that is going to be held storage," said Darryl Carlton, research director, Gartner Advisory Singapore.

"For instance, in Singapore, the use of facial recognition and biometrics in banks, government agencies and airport. Storing and recognising and using the data for modelling is far more intensive than storing six-digit pin codes," added Carlton.

Current SQL Server customers in Singapore include government agencies, airlines and logistics players. Resorts World is using SQL Server to generate multiple reporting formats for its casino management system, according to Aitharaju.

Aitharaju added that current customers running on existing enterprise agreements will be eligible to upgrade into SQL Server 2012 when it becomes available on 1 April this year.


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