SQL SERVER – What is Hekaton? – Simple Words Explanation

Readers of this blog will know that I recently attended SQL Server (PASS) Summit 2012.  There were, of course, a lot of fascinating subjects and people, but let me talk about one of my favorites right now.  Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Data Platform group at Microsoft, announced that the new version of SQL Server will include a feature called “Hekaton.”  Hekaton is Greek for “hundreds,” and it was given this name for its ability to speed up database function 100x (possibly).  It certainly increases application speed by 10x and nearly 50x for new, optimized applications.

Hekaton works by providing in-application memory storage for the most often used tables in SQL Server.  With a new tool that will be available in the new version of SQL Server, it will help identify tables that are most accessed, and will store them in the system’s main memory for faster access time.  The rest of the data will still be stored in the traditional manner.  The whole system will optimize queries and procedures, with Hekaton compiling T-SQL stored procedures in native code, so that the whole system runs faster.

Some eagle-eyed readers will see that this is very similar to other products that are currently available – like Oracle, xVelocity, or even Microsoft’s own PowerPivot and Power View.  However, the biggest difference is that Hekaton is built directly into SQL Server, so that there are no extensions, downloads, or interfaces that can slow down the very program meant to help increase your speed.

Hekaton is currently being tested by a few very lucky developers, but will be available for all users in the new version of SQL Server, which is expected in 2014 or 2015.

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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8 thoughts on “SQL SERVER – What is Hekaton? – Simple Words Explanation

  1. Interesting.
    This seems to be “a day late and a dollar short”, as the expression goes. But still it is better to have it late than never.
    I wonder, though, if these features will be specific to a certain edition; in other words, is it going to cost extra for a well-performing SQL Server? (We know from past experiences that some editions perform better than others – take the Resource Governor for example.)

    Can I be one of the testers for the Hekaton?

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  2. Thanks for such a great news.
    As Microsoft discontinued one such command like DBCC PINTABLE, however it required manual analysis and there were prons and cons also. Great idea to include such a functionality to existing arsenal.

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  3. Snehal, I agree with you. That was my first reaction. It is implemented as a fancy DBCC PINTABLE with modification to locking which bite us in the rear during high concurrency.
    I wonder what they did regarding compilation related lock thresholds. If transaction processing increases by an order of magnitude will we be killed by dynamic queries for example?

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  4. Pingback: SQL SERVER – 2014 Announced and SQL Server 2014 Datasheet | Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave

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