At the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Mexico City, we deliver customer strategy sessions to demonstrate the capabilities of Microsoft SQL Server 2014. In this post, I will discuss two main features of SQL Server 2014 that have been of great interest to our customers: in-memory technology and the ability to enable high availability with SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups.

In-Memory Technology
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a Strategy Briefing with a telecommunications customer who wanted to improve transaction management so that the business could respond immediately to the needs of their customers.

SQL Server 2014 addresses this challenge on a single platform. In-memory technology allows companies to accelerate transaction speeds up to 30 times faster. During engagements with customers at the MTC, we recommend that customers:

  • Optimize for in-memory tables to reduce I/O operations and process transactions more quickly without losing the properties of atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID).
  • Make use of natively compiled procedures for processing transactions on optimized in-memory tables.

For more information about in-memory technology, click here.

By using these features, our customers can create an efficient data platform for online transaction management solutions.

High Availability Databases
Another benefit of SQL Server 2014 that we discuss with customers at the MTC is the ability to power solutions that require high-availability databases. Recently, a customer shared a concern that they did not have the necessary infrastructure for a new solution and they wanted to reuse the infrastructure they currently had.

With SQL Server 2014, they have the possibility of using AlwaysOn Availability Groups. This feature enables you to make groups of highly available databases on different servers by means of an efficient replication process.   Availability groups now support a primary node and up to eight secondary nodes configured in synchronous or asynchronous mode. For scenarios when a customer does not have sufficient infrastructure, they can enable secondary nodes in the Microsoft cloud immediately. 

In addition, AlwaysOn allows you to reuse secondary nodes for important activities like reporting, ETL processes, and database backups.

Make Informed Decisions
The Microsoft platform has several components used to build robust business intelligence solutions. Recently, a retail customer participated in an engagement at the MTC Mexico City. They commented that one of the key differentiators of Microsoft solutions is the ability to construct models in-memory so that they could quickly respond to their business needs by using a familiar interface in Microsoft Excel. Business users create models that incorporate internal and external data using the Microsoft Power Query for Excel add-in. They integrate the data quickly into the business model and generate executive dynamics views. This allows them to view their key performance indicators and share the data using SharePoint. Then, users are empowered to make key decisions based on real-time data.

SQL Server 2014 is a robust enterprise data platform that adapts to the business needs of our customers. 


Hector Jimenez Peralta is Technical Architect at the Microsoft Technology Center in Mexico City. He is a computer engineer and specialist in the Microsoft data platform. In 2012, he was recognized as SQL Server MVP.