Microsoft has given a date for the launch of the hybrid cloud friendly SQL Server 2014, April 1st - no it's not a joke - the database software is now released to manufacturing (RTM) and will be generally available on 1st April.
Additionally, Microsoft has also announced the general availability of Windows Azure HDInsight with support for Big Data database Hadoop 2.2 and SQL Server Backup to Windows Azure Tool.
One of the key new features of the latest version of SQL Server 2014 is the ability for businesses to extend on-premises apps to the cloud, to quickly and easily backup to Azure, and to use the cloud as a Disaster Recovery (DR). Windows Azure also now supports version 2.2 of Apache Hadoop in Windows Azure through Windows Azure HDInsight which also includes support for YARN and Stinger Phase 2.
New backup and DR features include; the ability to backup and restore to Windows Azure Blob storage, the ability to add backup to Azure for prior versions of SQL server – including SQL server 2005, 2008, and 2008 R2 - a choice between manual or managed backups, restores at an instance level and at a point-in-time, and an automated backup feature which monitors database usage patterns to set backup frequencies. As well as on-premise to cloud extensions that allow cloud bursting, and better isolation of internal assets.
Writing on the Official Microsoft blog Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President, Data Platform Group said
"SQL Server 2014 is the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work from Microsoft engineers and thousands of hours of testing and input from our preview customers. The result is an important component of Microsoft's overall cloud-first data platform. The platform delivers breakthrough performance, accelerated insights through tools everyone uses and the ability to scale globally on-premises and in the cloud – letting our customers get the most from their data."
Finally, Microsoft shared that customers can learn more about the SQL Server 2014 and Microsoft's data platform strategy at its upcoming "Accelerate your Insights" event 15th April, featuring keynotes from senior Microsoft executives, as well Microsoft customers who are already using the new version.
For more on how SQL Server 2014 can be used see the very helpful Slideshare below