Top Ten Reasons to Use MS SQL Server 2012 Part 1

1. AlwaysOn SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances

  • Multi-subnet failover clusters: A SQL Server multi-subnet failover cluster is a configuration where each failover cluster node is connected to a different subnet or different set of subnets. These subnets can be in the same location or in geographically dispersed sites. Clustering across geographically dispersed sites is sometimes referred to as Stretch clusters. As there is no shared storage that all the nodes can access, data should be replicated between the data storage on the multiple subnets. With data replication, there is more than one copy of the data available. Therefore, a multi-subnet failover cluster provides a disaster recovery solution in addition to high availability. For more information, see SQL Server Multi-Subnet Clustering.
  • Flexible failover policy for cluster health detection: In a SQL Server failover cluster instance, only one node can own the cluster resource group at a given time. The client requests are served through this node for that failover cluster instance. In the case of a failure, the group ownership is moved to another node in the failover cluster. This process is called failover. The improved failure detection introduced in SQL Server 2012, and addition of failure condition level property allows you to configure a more flexible failover policy. For more information, see Failover Policy for Failover Cluster Instances.
  • Indirect checkpoints: The indirect checkpoints feature provides a database-specific alternative to automatic checkpoints, which are configured by a server property. Indirect checkpoints implements a new checkpointing algorithm for the Database Engine. This algorithm provides a more accurate guarantee of database recovery time in the event of a crash or a failover than is provided by automatic checkpoints. To ensure that database recovery does not exceed allowable downtime for a given database, you can specify the maximum allowable downtime for that database.

2. Windows PowerShell

Starting with SQL Server 2012, Windows PowerShell is no longer installed by SQL Server Setup. Windows PowerShell 2.0 is a pre-requisite for installing SQL Server 2012. If PowerShell 2.0 is not installed or enabled on your computer, you can enable it by following the instructions on the Windows Management Framework page. For more information about SQL Server PowerShell, see SQL Server PowerShell.

SQL Server 2012 now uses the new Windows PowerShell 2.0 feature called modules for loading the SQL Server components into a PowerShell environment. Users import the sqlps module into PowerShell, and the module then loads the SQL Server snap-ins. For more information, see Run Windows PowerShell from SQL Server Management Studio.

The sqlps Utility is no longer a PowerShell 1.0 mini-shell; it now starts PowerShell 2.0 and imports the sqlps module. This improves SQL Server interoperability by making it easier for PowerShell scripts to also load the snap-ins for other products. The sqlps utility is also added to the list of deprecated features starting in SQL Server 2012.

The SQL Server PowerShell provider includes two new cmdlets: backup-sqldatabase and restore-sqldatabase. For more information, use the get-help cmdlet after loading in the sqlps module.

3. Data-tier Applications

  • The data-tier application (DAC) upgrade has been changed to an in-place process that alters the existing database to match the schema defined in the new version of the DAC. This replaces the side-by-side upgrade process, which created a new database with the new schema definitions. The Upgrade a Data-Tier Application wizard has been updated to perform an in-place upgrade. The Upgrade method of the DacStore type is now deprecated, and replaced with a new IncrementalUpgrade method. Upgrades are also supported for DACs deployed to SQL Azure. For more information, see Upgrade a Data-tier Application.
  • In addition to just extracting a schema definition as a new DAC package file, you can now export both the schema definition and data from a database as a DAC export file. You can then import the file to create a new database with the same schema and data. For more information, see Export a Data-tier Application and Import a BACPAC File to Create a New User Database.
  • Data-tier applications now support many more objects than in SQL Server 2008 R2. For more information, see DAC Support For SQL Server Objects and Versions.

4. Server Modes for Analysis Services Instances: Multidimensional, Tabular, and SharePoint

This release adds a server mode concept to an Analysis Services installation. An instance is always installed in one of three modes that determines the memory management and storage engines used to query and process data. Server modes include Multidimensional and Data Mining, SharePoint, and Tabular. For more information, see Determine the Server Mode of an Analysis Services Instance

5. Integration Services Performance

Reduced Memory Usage by the Merge and Merge Join Transformations
Microsoft has made the Integration Services Merge and Merge Join transformations more robust and reliable. This is achieved by reducing the risk that these components will consume excessive memory when the multiple inputs produce data at uneven rates. This improvement helps packages that use the Merge or Merge Join transformations to use memory more efficiently.
Microsoft has also provided new properties and methods for developers of custom data flow components to implement a similar solution in their own components. This improvement makes it more feasible to develop a robust custom data flow component that supports multiple inputs. For more information, see Developing Data Flow Components with Multiple Inputs.

Stay tuned for Top Ten Reasons To Use SQL Server 2012 Part 2

For more Microsoft SQL Server 2012 training information visit Directions Training or follow us on Twitter @DirectionsTrain or call toll-free 1-855-575-8900.

Directions Twitter
Directions RSS
Directions LinkedIn
Directions Facebook
Directions Training