In the last post I promoted the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit for discovering the SQL Server workloads that are currently running in your customer environments, and in this post I'll cover off some of the different ways that can help you get up to speed with SQL Server 2014 as a migration target for workloads. There are several ways you can take SQL Server 2014 for a test drive, including running an evaluation edition on physical or virtual machines on-premises, or you can even spin it up inside of an Azure virtual machine to see what's new and what's changed.
There are plenty of learning resources available for learning SQL Server 2014, here are a few to get you started.Virtual Lab: What's New in SQL Server 2014 for DBAs
If you don't already have an evaluation version of SQL Server 2014, you can grab one from the TechNet Evaluation Center, If you are going down this path, here is some important information from that site.
See how in-memory processing built into SQL Server 2014 SP1 delivers breakthrough performance to accelerate your business and enable new, transformational scenarios that make you more competitive. Microsoft offers comprehensive in-memory technologies for OLTP, data warehousing, and analytics built directly into SQL Server, so there is no need to buy specialized hardware, expensive add-ons or learn new skills to speed your transactions, your queries and your insights. SQL Server 2014 SP1 also continues to offer industry leading business intelligence capabilities and integration with familiar tools like Excel for faster insights on your data.
SQL Server 2014 SP1 contains fixes to issues that have been reported through our customer feedback platforms and Hotfix solutions provided in SQL Server 2014 Cumulative Update 1 through Cumulative Update 5. Service Pack 1 also includes supportability enhancements and issues that have been reported through the Windows Error Reporting system.
Need more information about SQL Server 2014 SP1? See the product details page.
Key features and updates:
- Setup command prompt /qs (QUIETSIMPLE) command line parameter is enabled for SQL Server 2014 Express with SP1 Edition.
- Long compile times for certain queries that use the New Cardinality Estimator are fixed. In addition, turning on TF-4199 will use more efficient New Cardinality Estimation query plans for queries with non-equality join.
- Scalability benefits of trace flags (TF-1236, TF-9024) by default without needing to apply them.
- Retrieving backup header information for a backup set will work better with encrypted backups.
- Several issues in buffer pool extension SSD configuration are addressed, including the ability to do instant initialization of the buffer pool extension file.
- Columnstore performance is improved for batch mode operators spilling to disk. A new XEvent provides insights into columnstore inserts.
The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1 Feature Pack is a collection of stand-alone packages which provide additional value for Microsoft SQL Server. It includes the latest version of:
- Tool and components for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1
- Add-on providers for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1
Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish
Editions (May 2015)
- SQL Server 2014 SP1 | 32-bit ISO
- SQL Server 2014 SP1 | 64-bit ISO
- SQL Server 2014 SP1 | 32-bit CAB
- SQL Server 2014 SP1 | 64-bit CAB
- SQL Server 2014 on Microsoft Azure
- Review SQL Server 2014 SP1 system requirements and release notes
- Register, then download and install full-featured software for a 180-day trial
- Receive emails with resources to guide you through your evaluation
Note: You must have administrative rights on the computer to install SQL Server 2014 SP1.
SQL Server 2014 SP1 DVD Image: You can use this ISO image to burn your own DVD.
- Download the following .ISO file from the Evaluation Center:
- Using your DVD-burning software, select the options to burn a DVD from an .ISO image. When you are prompted for a file to use, select the image file that you downloaded. After burning the DVD, locate and double-click Setup.exe on the DVD to begin the installation.
SQL Server 2014 SP1 CAB file:
- Download the following files from the Evaluation Center to a temporary directory on your device:
Once the download has completed, extract the zip files then double click on the SQLServer2014SP1-<architecture>-<language>.exe to begin the installation process.
Note: If downloading using Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, you will not have a “Save” option, just a “Run” option. Exit the dialog by clicking the ‘X’ and proceed. Alternatively, if you do select “Run”, you may be presented with the “Choose Directory for Extracted Files” dialog with a default/proposed path that includes \System32\. If this occurs, please change this path to another location on your system before clicking ‘OK’.
SQL Server 2014 on Microsoft Azure:
For instructions on how to install SQL Server 2014 on Microsoft Azure, please go to the Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services Page.