SQL Server 2014 for SharePoint professionals

SQL Server

Microsoft just released SQL Server 2014, and all the SQL people are going wild over it. But what exactly does this release mean for SharePoint?

Traditionally, SQL Server has not only been the database layer for SharePoint but also its go-to platform when it comes to business intelligence functionalities. Granted, with all these self-service BI capabilities with Excel and SharePoint one could easily forget about the possibilities with SQL Server, but Reporting Services and Analysis Services are still very much useful in a lot of scenarios. I’m not that much of a BI guy, so I’ll focus on the core database engine stuff in this post.

The first thing that struck me when downloading the bits was that there still is a 32 bit version of the product available. Surely, nobody wants to install that you would think? SharePoint is not available for this processor architecture since 2010. There are probably all kinds of conspiracy theories around this, but there could be simpler reasons too of course:

@ThomasVochten as a back end to 500K windows xp powered ATMs in the US?
Tom Resing (@resing) April 1, 2014

Anyway, you can read about all the new stuff over here, but these are the particular things I noticed that might interest SharePoint folks:

Requirements & Setup

  • SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition supports only 128 GB of RAM (it was 648 GB in 2012)
  • Sysprepping is now supported with failover clustering

Database Engine

  • Azure integration. Lots of it. But I’m not really sure that would be a great idea for your SharePoint databases however.
  • Backup encryption. Probably the NSA could have avoided much of their problems if Snowden couldn’t actually do anything with their SharePoint backups.

Business Continuity

  • Azure support again. Create an Availability Groups replica in Azure. With the improved asynchronous support with SharePoint server that could offer some additional possibilities.
  • Readable secondaries remain readable when your primary replica goes down. Not supported with SharePoint, but still a great enhancement.

Performance

  • You can extend the buffer pool to SSD drives to improve throughput. The buffer pool is the part of your data that sits in memory so you don’t have to go back to disk to retrieve it.
  • Control you IO throughput in Resource Governor to specify minimum or maximum IOPS for a particular disk volume.

SharePoint will support SQL Server 2014 starting with the April 2014 CU * which hasn’t been released yet.