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Introducing SQL Server 2016’s New Stretch Database

When Microsoft introduced the first public preview of SQL Server 2016, many longtime users took note of the bevy of new features seen in the popular server software. Touted by Microsoft as “the biggest leap forward in Microsoft’s data platform history,” SQL Server 2016 provides advanced analytical capabilities, including real-time operational analytics, heightened security protocols and even hybrid cloud connectivity. In addition, Microsoft SQL Server 2016 introduces Stretch Database, which is already making waves around the industry.

What is Stretch Database?

Putting it simply, Stretch Database is able to utilize the Microsoft Azure cloud as a means of extending large or complicated database tables. One of the most obvious benefits comes in the form of decreased storage costs on a long-term basis, but this will ultimately give IT officials more control over the storage and access of their data. Additional benefits include queries that are 100 times faster than before, transactions that are 30 times faster than before, utilization of new encryption methods and more.

T.K. Ranga Rengarajan, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of data platform as well as cloud and enterprise, explained how the primary feature of Stretch Database works during a recent blog post, where he wrote: “As core transactional tables grow in size, you may need to archive historical data to lower cost and to maintain fast performance. This unique technology allows you to dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, so your operational data is always at hand, no matter the size, and you benefit from the low cost of using Microsoft Azure. You can use Always Encrypted with Stretch Database to extend your data in a more secure manner for greater peace of mind.”

Is Stretch Database Right For You?

Deciding whether or not Stretch Database is a right fit for you and your IT needs is something that needs to be determined on an individual basis. Thankfully, the Microsoft Developer’s Network offers some guidelines to help you make the decision on your own. According to their website, you may be able to benefit from Stretch Database if you: intend to store transactional data for an extended period of time, regularly query historical data or maintain apps that you don’t want to update. Additionally, and as the website points out, Stretch Database can also benefit those who are trying to save on their overall IT costs.

If you are a database administrator, the Microsoft Developer’s Network lists a separate set of qualifications to help you determine if Stretch Database is right for you. According to the website, database administrators may find Stretch Database beneficial if you: find the size of your tables are getting too large, want to provide your users with easy access to historical data, regularly purchase additional storage or have difficulties archiving or restoring larger tables.

Try It Now

Those who are interested in getting an early glimpse of Microsoft SQL Server 2016 can do so by visiting their official website at You’ll also find more information about the Microsoft Azure cloud, a comprehensive listing of products and services, online technical support, partnership information and a lot more.


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