SQL Server 2016 Release Date: June 1, 2016

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for!

Microsoft just announced the SQL Server 2016 Release Date: June 1, 2016.

This PDF lays out the differences between editions, and here’s a few points that stand out:

  • Standard Edition now goes up to 24 cores, and still just 128GB max memory
  • Query Store is Enterprise Edition only (see update below)
  • Always Encrypted is Enterprise only, thereby killing its adoption rate among ISVs
  • In-memory analytics, R integration are Enterprise only
  • Business Intelligence Edition is gone with the wind
  • According to the newly released TPC-H benchmark Executive Summary, Enterprise Edition still costs around $7k USD per core

Great news! Let me know what you think in the comments.

UPDATE 6:30PM – Microsoft unveiled a more detailed feature comparison by edition, and this one says Query Store will be available in all editions (including Express!)

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23 Comments. Leave new

  • Andreas Driesen
    May 2, 2016 8:56 am

    QueryStore Enterprise Edition only is great news? ;-(

    Standard Editition is crippled to something like MySQL. A standard RDBMS, nothing special.
    Most ISVs will implement only features working with Standard Edition.

    Very sad day! 🙁

  • Priced out of Enterprise Edition :(.
    Only a few check boxes for Standard Edition.

    I guess MS just wants us to take our SMB business to Postgres or something similar.

  • Does anyone see updated virtualization notes?

  • Erik Darling
    May 2, 2016 1:40 pm

    I know someone who’s going to be happy about this.

  • Who’d put a 24-core (48 vCPU) beast out there with a paltry 128GB for SQL. Guess the days of SQL-only on the server are gone… Is that the plan, or are those billionaires simply out of touch with reality?

    From an ISV developer’s perspective, Query Store at Standard-only is one of the most STUPID decisions MS could make. Even Remus Rusanu’s disclosures about this FROM MAY 2015 in Azure SQL DB beg the question why MS thinks it such a great idea to bilk customers for a piece of functionality that’s been in the public domain for over 12 months – new money for old rope, perhaps?

    Sometimes, boneheadedness is all too evident at MS.

  • Brad Stiritz
    May 2, 2016 6:49 pm

    From my humble perspective, the lack of table partitioning is the biggest frustrating limitation of Standard Edition. I understand (e.g. via Kendra’s article) that table partitioning can be tricky to get right. Sadly it will continue to be a moot point for me :\

  • Let’s face it, they have to keep some decent shizzle in EE or else it isn’t “Enterprise” at all.

    Moaning about the cost of SQL Server gets a bit tedious – have y’all seen how much Oracle costs! Nurse, I need a lie-down!

    • Erik Darling
      May 4, 2016 8:25 am

      What irks me about 2016 Standard is MS saying “hey, here’s 8 more cores you can pay $2k a pop for, but you don’t get any more RAM with that”.

      I could live very easily with the 16 core cap and a 256/512 GB memory limit. How many Standard Edition installs are CPU bound?

      Smaller shops will likely have no need for AGs, Hekaton, ColumnStore, Partitioning, Compression, etc., but may be sitting on a few hundred GB of data. Should they get pushed to EE just to cache a little more of it, even if they’re not using a single “Enterprise” feature? Meh.

      • Yeah I am totally with you on the RAM cap in Std. It’s ludacris. And non-readable single AG replica only is tighter than a gnat’s chuff, so to speak.

        But hey, they have got a damn good product, and they’re gonna milk it like a magic cow, and I would do the same in their position.

      • Thomas Franz
        May 17, 2016 1:51 am

        well – you could install multiple instances with 128 GB each on your 48 core SQL Standard server…

        If this makes sense (e.g. do you have enough mid size databases that could run on different instances …) depends.

  • Query Store: good to see that it was included with all versions. Dropping the BI edition – if in the past they had included all of the BI features, it would have made sense, but since their BI edition in the past was a limited one, it makes sense to either drop it, or include all features.

    Stepping back, it seems clear that the person or group in-charge of pricing, and the associated editions is not fully in-touch with the market.

  • Stephen O'Leary
    May 10, 2016 4:46 am

    Always Encrypted being Enterprise only makes me sad, imagine what could have been done for data security if that was available in Express and upwards, enabling everyone to use it in their applications.

    • Stephen – yeah, independent software vendors (ISVs) don’t usually support Enterprise-only features in their apps because it would require developing two separate code bases. That’s sad.

      • Or what we are having to do, supporting 2008R2, 2012 and 2014 on Standard and Enterprise, is decide the version and edition and use the joy that is called dynamic SQL to get the biggest bang for our customers. A royal pain in the nethers! And don’t talk to me about using multiple filegroups for different sized customer implementations – yikes!

  • Holy smokes! Looks like things are about to change. SQL 2016 SP1 now supports all ENTERPRISE-ONLY features in lower editions! https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlreleaseservices/sql-server-2016-service-pack-1-sp1-released/

  • Andrew Peterson
    November 16, 2016 9:24 pm

    And SQL Server on Linux public preview was announced today as well. All good stuff



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