Catch Up: SQL Server for the DBA

By Chris Testa-O'Neill

Are you a DBA looking to catch up on SQL Server 2012 or 2014? Maybe you want to make sure you've got a good understanding before you make the step to 2016. Here's some great videos that will help you skill up.

SQL Server 2012


The biggest feature of this release was the focus on mission critical availability solutions. AlwaysOn was a feature that provided improved Failover Cluster instance and AlwaysOn Availability group. This technology was to supersede database mirroring, which is now a deprecated feature in SQL Server. At SQLBits 10, Allan Hirt provided a preview of the technology as shown in the following video.

ColumnStore Indexes

Hugo Kornelis takes us through a great session of how ColumnStore indexes work in the SQL Server 2012. Making use of the column based indexing for improved performance. Note that improvements have been made to this technology in later versions

Contained Databases

This feature reduces the dependencies that a database has on the SQL Server instance, making it easier to migrate a database to a new instance. Aaron Bertrand explore this and other SQL Server 2012 new features in the following video

SQL Server 2014

In-Memory OLTP

In memory technologies for OLTP workloads was introduced in SQL Server 2014. Microsoft came to SQLBits to describe the key features and consideration.

Improved Cardinality Estimator

A “secret recipe” change of an internal SQL Server component that had a direct impact on generating improved query plans for the benefit of performance. Sandip Pani explores this and other features in SQL Server 2014

Hybrid Cloud

SQL Server 2014 introduced tighter integration with Microsoft Azure. In this sessions, Microsoft’s Bob Ward present Hybrid Cloud scenarios using Azure Virtual Machines to host SQL Server.


Chris-Testa-ONeill By Chris Testa-O’Neill , Data Platform MVP and founder & Principal Consultant at Claribi. Chris is a regular speaker on the international SQL Server conference circuit, and an organiser of SQLBits and SQLRelay. He has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for the past 16 years, having both authored and delivered Microsoft official courses.