General availability of SQL Server 2016, was announced eariler this month, now in time to insight, compared to deployments of such models outside of the database.
Microsoft says, it's the world's fastest and most price-performant database for HTAP (Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing) with updateable, in-memory columnstores and advanced analytics through deep integration with R Services. "This approach incurs high latency because of data movement, doesn't scale as data volumes grow and burdens the application tier with the task of managing and maintaining analytical models." explains SQL team.
Furthermore, SQL Server 2016 simplifies analytics by moving analytics close to where the data is managed with new paradigm where all joins, "aggregations and machine learning are performed securely within the database itself without moving the data out." As a result, analytical applications can now be far simpler and need only query the database for analytic results, thus dramatically reduces the latency for insights.
Updating machine learning models, deploying new models, and monitoring their performance can now be done in the database without recompiling and redeploying applications.
Also, the database can now serve as a central server for the enterprise's analytical models and multiple intelligent applications can leverage the same models.
Additionally, several new features and tools to support cross-platform analytics are added including:
Polybase, allows you to run queries on external data in Hadoop or Azure blob storage.
Microsoft R Services, inegrated with SQL Server also runs on multiple Hadoop distributions and is also integrated with Azure HDInsight + Spark, enabling both choice and standardization in developing analytics code.
And finally, R Tools for Visual Studio allows the ease of use of the modern Visual Studio IDE for developing analytical code in R.
Thanks to modern servers, SQL Server 2016 leading to new levels of performance and scale by optimizing for the concurrency and parallelism inherent within such servers that can provide dramatic speedups at scale, and often outperform large distributed databases.
The new server also takes security capabilities even further: "Always Encrypted helps protect data at rest and in memory, Transparent Data Encryption encrypts all user data now with low performance overhead, and Dynamic Data Masking (DDM) and Row Level Security (RLS) allow developers to build applications that restrict access and protect data." the SQL team explained.
So, interested to experience the magin of it, probably the quickest way is to create a test environment using an Azure SQL VM.
Additionally, through the free developer edition also you can also experience the full features. Or, visit the SQL Server 2016 webpage download the SQL Server 2016 and the e-book.