NEW Features in SQL Server 2016 – User Group Notes

I attended my second Northern Virginia (NOVA) SQL User Group session last night. The session was called, “SQL 2016 – Cool New Features” by Microsoft SQL PFE Harsh Deep (blog)

SQL Server 2016 New Features
SQL Server 2016 New Features

Like the first session I attended, this session was held at the Microsoft office in Reston, VA and lasted roughly three hours from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. Food and beverages were provided and two Amazon Fire TVs were raffled off at the end of the session. No, I didn’t win. :)

NEW Features in SQL Server 2016

There are so many new features in SQL Server 2016 that I cannot list them all. I will mention a few that sparked my interest. You can get a complete list of new features, enhancements by visiting the official Microsoft SQL Server 2016 page here.

AlwaysOn – Included in Enterprise as well as Standard Edition. Replaces Mirroring. Failover at database level, not Instance level. Load balancing for readable secondaries.

Always Encrypted – Protects data in motion and rest. The encryption key resides within the application. The only modification you have to make it a one liner in the application connection string.

Polybase – This is used to grab data on a “Big Data” platform like Hadoop. The cool thing is…you can use TSQL!

Stretch Database – Data that is “cold” can be stored on the cloud while data that is “hot” will remain active on-premise. My friend Tim Radney (twitter | blog) wrote a great blog on Stretch Database here. Feel free to check it out.

SQL Server 2016 New Features Harsh Deep
Microsoft SQL PFE Harsh Deep

You can download a pdf of the presentation here. You can also find MORE links to articles and videos here.

Next Up…

The next Northern Virginia (NOVA) SQL User Group session, and the first for 2016, will be held on January 25th. The topic is “Demystifying Master Data Services” taught by Benjamin Franklin. Feel free to sign up here.


Before that…I will be attending my very first SQL Saturday in DC on December 4th and I am pretty excited!

Brent Ozar (blog | twitter), Steve Jones (, Senior Microsoft SQL PFE Ayman El-Ghazali (blog | twitter) will be among the many awesome speakers that day!

You can sign up here and check out the session schedule here. #SQLSaturdayDC

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