Archive for November, 2012

What the heck is Heckaton ?

November 23, 2012 Leave a comment

As you will have heard by now, some exciting announcements were made at SQL Pass. One of those was Hekaton , the exciting new in-memory database platform for SQL Server. I’ve found some more information on Hekaton.

Before I move onto that though, remember that xVelocity ColumnStore debuted in SQL 2012 , and the performance results are already impressive. I did a blog post on ColumnStore here, and the results were very impressive.

But that currently only applies to Data Warehouse workloads. Now we have “Hekaton” , which promises to bring the xVelocity technology to OLTP workloads. What we’ve heard at pass about Hekaton :

  • Will ship with the next major version of Sql Server
  • Will be integrated into SQL Server – no separate interface or programming model
  • Basically allows you to place most frequently used OLTP data tables in memory , in order to boost reads and writes ( that’s a very simplified explanation of it )
  • You can keep your other OLTP tables on normal storage. So a database application can be designed to run with a hybrid storage mechanism.

I would imagine that at some interval , the in-memory table data is written to disk. According to Microsoft , some customers on TAP are testing this at the moment , and are seeing anywhere between  5 and 50 times throughput gains. While I don’t like repeating such claims , we did see the evidence of such speed boosts with ColumnStore , so this is very exciting.

In the mean time , start ordering more RAM for your servers ….. J

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SQL Server 2012 SP1 and Hekaton

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Big big announcements at SQL Pass. Firstly , SP1 is now available for SQL 2012. There seems to be the usual fixes , but there also seems to be a lot with regards to compatibility with Excel 2013 and SharePoint 2013 for BI. If you’re planning to roll out BI on the 2013 platform , you need SP1. More impressively …….


The Column Store ( xVelocity ) technology that we saw for Data Warehousing applications will be available for OLTP applications ( NOT in SP 1 just to be clear ). There is no release date but this is exciting. Those of you who have seen what Column Store can do for Data Warehousing know that its pretty significant.

What we now know is that ColumnStore for Data Warehouse applications will become writable in the next major release of SQL Server ( no more dropping indexes to load ). But the impact of having this technology for OLTP means that all database applications will benefit from it and get that massive performance boost. How big a boost ? Well , Hekaton apparently means 100 in Greek …… 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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