SQL Server 2019 RC1 refresh released, with focus on Big Data Clusters

Earlier this week, Microsoft made the first release candidate (RC1) for SQL Server 2019 Reporting Services available. A few days before that, the tech giant unveiled SQL Server 2019 RC1, bringing analytics and AI features to handle data. Now, the release candidate refresh bits for SQL Server 2019 have been made available, with Big Data Clusters being the primary focus of this announcement.

First previewed in July, Big Data Clusters allow for the deployment of scalable clusters of SQL Server, Spark, and HDFS containers running on Kubernetes. With the components working simultaneously, big data processing can then be undertaken with ease, alongside the ability to combine it with high-value relational data. Furthermore, AI and machine learning projects can be operationalized through these clusters. Microsoft says that its customers have actively moved big data analytical workloads to SQL Server 2019 ever since the ability has been introduced.

Some common use cases for Big Data Clusters are described as follows:

  • Analytics over big data: With SQL Server 2019, you can analyze any type of data, structured, or unstructured with the power SQL and Apache Spark™
  • Data virtualization: You can gain insights from all of your data by querying across data stored in Oracle, Teradata, other SQL Servers, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Cosmos DB, Cloudera, Azure Data Lake, or the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) built in to SQL Server Big Data Clusters without moving or replicating the data. You can have one single query point from where you run your T SQL code or connect your apps and BI tools to, joining your disparate data together into a single query result.
  • AI in SQL Server: You can deploy scalable clusters of SQL Server, Apache Spark™, and HDFS running on Kubernetes. It provides all the tools and popular machine learning libraries to ingest, store, and prepare data for analysis as well as to train and operationalize machine learning models.

You can check out the first release candidate bits for SQL Server 2019 here. On Windows, Linux, or containers, RC1 download and installation instructions can be found on the SQL Server 2019 web page, while a community technology preview virtual machine in Azure can also be used. If you want to learn more about Big Data Clusters, documentation on them can be found here.

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