SQL Server 2017 expands the number of environments that can run SQL Server and offers world-class speed, cybersecurity, uptime, and expandability. SQL Server 2017 works natively on popular distributions of Linux including Red Hat, Ubuntu, and SUSE as well as on Linux Docker containers. Linux support extends to Always On availability groups with cross-platform failover. Additional headline enhancements to SQL Server 2017 include support for SQL Graph for modeling complex many-to-many relationships within existing databases plus integrated support for the Python machine-learning language for predictive analytics.
The enhancements delivered by SQL Server 2017 make this release of Microsoft's core data management platform an attractive target for migrating from SQL Server 2008, which has reached End-of-Support (EOS) status. EOS means that Microsoft will no longer provide access to critical security updates, making compliance and maintenance increasingly challenging. By migrating from SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2017 or later, you jump four generations of SQL Server releases and benefit from dramatic improvements in critical areas like solid-state performance, high availability, business intelligence, mobility, advanced analytics, and cybersecurity that enables compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) framework.
SQL Server 2017 Reporting Services supports reports and dashboards on virtually any device
For nearly two decades, Progent has helped organizations of all sizes to plan, install, configure, tune, and troubleshoot SQL Server environments and has helped develop, test, and deploy applications that rely on SQL Server for data management. Progent's Microsoft-certified SQL Server consultants can assist your company to evaluate the business case for migrating to SQL Server 2017 from a legacy version of SQL Server or from a third-party database platform. Progent can also help you design and implement a smooth migration of your applications and databases to SQL Server 2017 under any deployment model including local, cloud-hosted, or hybrid. If you currently have a SQL Server 2017 deployment, Progent can provide the expertise of SQL Server 2019 migration consultants to help you upgrade efficiently to a newer version of SQL Server.
Progent's consultants offer online or onsite expertise and offer services ranging from on-demand troubleshooting to design review to comprehensive project management and co-management to make sure your SQL Server 2017 initiative is successfully completed on time and within budget. Progent also offers the expertise of certified cybersecurity consultants, disaster recovery planners, and DBA professionals to help make your SQL Server 2017 ecosystem deliver maximum business value.
Progent's Microsoft-certified SQL Server experts can also assist you to integrate SQL Server 2017 with other Microsoft platforms by providing services like Windows Server consulting, Hyper-V virtual server expertise, Exchange Server solution design, SharePoint development consulting, Skype for Business integration, Microsoft Dynamics GP programming and training, and System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) management support.
Progent's seasoned developers can help you plan, create, test, deploy, and troubleshoot applications based on SQL Server 2017 and offer expert support for data modeling, transaction processing, Data Warehousing, Data Mining, ETL, system tuning, disaster recovery/business continuity, business intelligence (BI), management reporting, DBA services, and support for popular services including integration with Amazon Marketplace Web Service. To find out more about Progent's SQL Server application development expertise, see SQL Server application development and database management services.
Progent can also help you to design and deploy a secure BYOD and mobile BI environment for SQL Server 2017 by providing services like Apple iPhone and iPad integration and Android mobile device management.
Deployment Options for SQL Server 2017
SQL Server 2017 allows you to choose from a range of deployment models. SQL Server 2017 can be run on physical and virtual machines onsite or in your own private cloud, in hosted third-party private clouds, and on public clouds like Microsoft Azure. You can also use a hybrid deployment model, common for larger organizations, that uses a combination of local and cloud-based resources. Any SQL Server infrastructure, including hybrid deployments, can be configured, managed, and monitored using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), which is available from Microsoft as a free download.
SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machine is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering from Microsoft intended for quickly migrating existing applications to the cloud with few if any modifications. SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machine is also well suited for rapid application development and testing because it eliminates the need to acquiring hardware and provisioning a SQL Server test environment. Microsoft Azure SQL Database is a cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering designed primarily for new applications that utilize the latest SQL Server features. Azure SQL Database, like the SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machine service, provides the underlying infrastructure for SQL Server, but also allows you to minimize administration hassle by outsourcing the management of VMs, operating systems, upgrades, high availability, and backups.
SQL Server 2017 supports on-premises, cloud-based, and hybrid deployment models
Progent's Microsoft-certified SQL Server consultants can help your organization evaluate the potential cost and productivity benefits as well as compliance implications associated with various deployment models for SQL Server 2017. Progent can also assist you in planning, implementing, managing, and troubleshooting your SQL Server 2017 deployment.
Editions of SQL Server 2017
Microsoft offers SQL Server 2017 in a variety of editions designed to meet your requirements for function, scale, and budget. Some features, like the new SQL Graph, are available on all editions. Others, like the Always On function for high availability, are offered only with the Enterprise edition. Progent can help you determine which editions of SQL Server 2017 are appropriate for your work loads and which optional components of SQL Server 2017 you should deploy. Progent can also help you understand and manage SQL Server 2017 licensing.
Microsoft offers SQL Server 2017 Express in several versions, all available for free but with limited feature sets and scalability. Upgrades to more advanced versions are seamless. Each version of SQL Server 2017 Express supports the lesser of 1 socket or 4 cores, and each supports 352 MB of memory per database. The basic version of SQL Server Express is intended for developing or running database applications on desktop computers or small servers and is a practical solution for independent software vendors (ISVs) and for developers who want to create client applications. SQL Server 2017 Express with Advanced Services incorporates additional features like Basic R for analytics and SQL Graph for creating graph-based relational models. This edition can also host SSRS report databases. SQL Server Express LocalDB is the only edition of SQL Server that can run in user mode and installs with no configuration and virtually no prerequisites. In-memory OLTP is not supported.
SQL Server 2017 Web edition is an economical version designed web hosting. This edition offers a basic set of features and limited scale, supporting the lesser of 4 socket or 16 cores and up to 16 GB of memory per database. Still, SQL Server 2017 Web can be a cost-effective data solution for managing web properties. SQL Server 2017 Web edition lacks some high-availability and security features like backup compression, backup encryption, and Always On failover cluster instances.
SQL Server 2017 Standard edition includes the core features and scale required for smaller companies or for departments to run database applications. This value-priced edition can be deployed in on-premises, cloud-hosted, or hybrid networks and supports many high-availability features as well as basic business intelligence and development tools. SQL Server 2017 Standard edition supports the lesser of 4 sockets or 24 cores and 32 GB of memory per database.
SQL Server 2017 Enterprise is the premier edition of SQL Server 2017, intended for line-of-business applications which demand best-in-class expandability, speed, uptime, cybersecurity, and functionality. Compute and memory limits are based on the host OS, and virtualization is unlimited. Only this edition offers advanced performance features like automatic tuning, IO resource governance, and partitioned table parallelism. Availability features unique to the Enterprise edition include online page and file restore, online indexing and schema change, mirrored backups, CPU and memory hot-add, plus the ability of Always On availability groups to support as many as eight secondary replicas with two synchronous secondary replicas. Cybersecurity features include transparent encryption and extensible key management. SQL Server 2017 Enterprise edition also includes Power Pivot for SharePoint, advanced data mining tools, and extensive support for mobile reporting and analytics.
SQL Server 2017 Developer edition is free and has the same feature set and scale as the Enterprise edition, but is licensed for development and testing only. This edition may not be deployed in a production environment.
Enhancements to SQL Server 2017
SQ Server 2017 incorporates new or enhanced features for all of its major components including SQL Server Database Engine, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Master Data Services (MDS), SQL Server Analysis Services (SSIS), SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), and Machine Learning Services. Improvements to SQL Server 2017 cover performance, availability, security, compliance, scale, manageability, compatibility, and functionality.
SQL Server 2017 Database Engine
The SQL Server Database Engine is responsible for processing, storage, and security. The Database Engine manages access to the database, optimizes the performance of transaction processing, and ensures high availability. Among the major improvements included with the SQL Server 2017 Database Engine are:
- Linux support includes native Linux paths, IPV6, and database files on NFS.
- An Online Index Rebuild is able to continue from where it stopped after a failure, such as running out of disk space. This feature also lets you deliberately pause an Online Index Rebuild and subsequently resume the operation.
- Adaptive Query Processing can automatically switch to a more efficient query execution plan in response to the runtime conditions for a workload.
- Always On Availability Groups (AGs) can be configured to allow automatic failover that crosses OS boundaries between Windows and Linux AGs. For Windows, AGs can be configured with Windows Server failover cluster (WSFC). For Linux, AGs can be configured with Pacemaker.
SQL Server 2017 allows automatic failover between Windows and Linux Always-on Availability Groups
- Automatic Database Tuning continuously monitors performance, detects query performance problems, suggests mitigation procedures, and can perform fixes automatically.
- The Database Tuning Advisor (DTA), available for free with SQL Server 2017 Management Studio, has additional features like columnstore index suggestions plus the ability to enhance performance by smart use of rowstore and columnstore indexes.
- Support is included for computed columns in memory-optimized tables.
- JSON functions are fully supported for query surface area in native modules.
- SQL Graph helps model complex many-to-many relationships by using graph-based analysis with node (vertices) and edge (relationships) tables. Graph databases simplify expressing queries for applications such as risk management and also make it easy to add new relationships as an application evolves.
New graph processing capabilities make it easier to model complex many-to-many relationships
SQL Server 2017 Integration Services (SSIS)
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) allows the creation of advanced data integration and workflow applications such as ETL for data warehousing. SSIS 2017 delivers a range of improvements including:
SQL Server 2017 Master Data Services (MDS)
- You can run SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages on Linux.
- You can use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to run multiple SSIS package executions in parallel.
- For high availability, you can configure failover clustering for the server hosting the Scale Out Master service.
- OData Source and OData Connection Manager can connect to the OData feeds of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM Online.
Master Data Services (MDS) provides centralized storage of master data and streamlines the creation, installation, management, and auditing of models, entities, attributes and attribute groups, hierarchies, business rules, and metadata. MDS ensures that reports and analyses are working with consistent and accurate data. Areas where SQL Server 2017 improves Master Data Services include:
SQL Server 2017 Analysis Services (SSAS)
- You can migrate quickly from earlier versions of SQL Server to SQL Server 2017.
- The Explorer page of the Web application allows you to view the sorted lists of entities, collections, and hierarchies.
- Performance is accelerated using the staging stored procedure for staging large numbers of records.
- Performance is improved when expanding the Entities folder on the Manage Groups page while setting model permissions.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) includes a collection of tools for online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining, allowing you to build and share insightful BI visualizations. Access to the latest features requires that you use current releases of SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). SSAS 2017 supports older OLAP modes as well as new tabular modeling approaches and works with Power Pivot, Excel, and SharePoint to enable self-service analytics and team projects. Enhancements to SSAS 2017 for tabular models include:
SQL Server 2017 Reporting Services (SSRS)
- Object-level security for tables and columns provides access control and can hide table and column names.
- Get Data includes an expanded selection of databases including SQL Server, SQL Server Analytics, Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, Teradata, Microsoft Azure SQL, Microsoft Azure Data Warehouse, and OData Feed.
- A more intuitive user interface makes it easier to select data and M mashup capabilities.
- Encoding hints help you optimize data refresh of large in-memory tabular models.
- Enhancements to Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) improve server health reports in SQL Server Profiler.
- SSMS enhancements improve viewing, editing, and scripting for structured data sources.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) provides a selection of tools and services for building, sharing, managing, and accessing reports. SSRS reports can utilize a wide array of data sources including local SQL Server and Analysis Services data. Team members can collaborate from almost any computing device, desktop or mobile, and can access and share information using Reporting Services Web service, WMI provider, email, or scripts. SSRS 2017 enhancements include:
- To improve collaboration and insight, you can add comments and attachments to reports.
- You can use drag and drop in query designers to create native DAX queries against supported SQL Server Analysis Services tabular data models.
- Support for a fully OpenAPI compliant RESTful API allows developers to create and customize new-generation apps.
SQL Server 2017 Machine Learning Services (previously named SQL Server R Services)
SQL Server Machine Learning Services, previously called SQL R Services, is an add-on to the SQL Server relational database engine that allows data scientists to access scalable R as well as Python for machine learning and predictive analysis within SQL Server. As an example of the integration of the R and Python languages within the familiar Microsoft environment, a data scientist could prepare data in a columnstore, use R or Python to generate predictions, place the data within in-memory OLTP tables, and visualize it via Reporting Services or Power BI. (See Progent's Power BI business analytics consulting services.)
SQL Server 2017 provides a secure and scalable environment for data scientists to access enterprise data
How Progent Can Help You with SQL Server 2017
- Included with Machine Learning Services (MLS) is the Anaconda distribution of Python with the Python 3.5 runtime and interpreter, libraries and tools, plus Microsoft's product libraries for Python.
- Product libraries for Python include revoscalepy for at-scale analytics and microsoftml for machine learning algorithms.
- MLS includes pretrained models derived from ResNet models for sentiment analysis and image extraction.
- You can deploy Python code by using a stored procedure with Transact-SQL (T-SQL).
- By creating Python applications within SQL Server, you can avoid the security risk, cost, and hassle of moving massive volumes of data across the network.
- MLS enhances R support by including updated releases of base R, RevoScaleR, MicrosoftML, and other R libraries.
- Microsoft's R and Python packages and interpreters are available on all editions of SQL Server and are also available on Azure Machine Learning and other Azure services like Data Science Virtual Machines.
- For high performance, you can use MPI ring parallelization to stream data from SQL to Python processes.
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises consulting support to help you plan, deploy, administer, tune, and troubleshoot your SQL Server 2017 solution. Progent can help you to assess the business case for migrating to SQL Server 2017 and can assist you to design an efficient system architecture for an onsite, cloud-hosted, or hybrid deployment model.
Progent SQL Server experts can help you conduct a smooth migration of your data and applications to SQL Server 2017, set up test systems to verify SQL Server 2017's ability to run your vital applications, streamline management, design and implement a modern cybersecurity strategy that complies with government and industry requirements, integrate mobile devices, and create a disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) plan that takes advantage of the high-availability mechanisms incorporated in SQL Server 2017. In addition, Progent's software developers can help you create, review, or troubleshoot mission-critical applications based on SQL Server 2017.
Consulting services available from Progent for SQL Server 2017 include:
Contact Progent for SQL Server 2017 Migration, Configuration, Development and Troubleshooting Support
- Project Management: Progent offers project management outsourcing and co-sourcing to help organizations follow leading practices to make sure their Server 2017 initiative is successfully carried out on schedule and within budget. Project can provide expert support for every facet of project management by delivering services such as requirements analysis, preparedness assessment, system architecture, deployment planning, piloting, integration, performance tuning, documentation and training, system monitoring, and on-demand remote or onsite consulting and debugging.
- Database Migration: Progent's DBA consultants offer consulting expertise for all releases of SQL Server, including end-of-support versions such as SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Progent can also provide Oracle consulting support, MySQL application development, and Microsoft Access programming and training. Progent's experience providing database solutions can minimize cost and management hassle when you migrate to SQL Server 2017 from legacy versions of SQL Server or from other database platforms.
- Integration with Other Microsoft Technologies: Microsoft's extensive line of servers, applications, services, and technologies rely on SQL Server as their core data engine. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you integrate SQL Server 2017 with other Microsoft technologies by delivering services such as Windows Server 2019 migration, Windows 2016 Hyper-V virtualization support, Windows Server 2016 integration, SharePoint 2016 hybrid integration consulting, SharePoint Server 2019 consulting, Excel and Power BI training, Exchange Server 2016 configuration and management support, Active Directory design and troubleshooting, and Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM customization and support.
- Reporting and BI: Progent's Business Intelligence (BI) reporting consultants can help your organization use the components of Microsoft's powerful BI stack like SQL Server 2017 Reporting Services (SSRS) to build, share, and administer BI reports that can be accessed safely from authorized desktop or mobile devices. Progent can help you design PowerPivot models and use SQL Server 2017 Analysis Services (SSAS) to manage tabular databases. Progent's consultants can also assist you to integrate third-party reporting platforms like Crystal Reports or migrate efficiently from older products such as FRx.
- Network Infrastructure: Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network infrastructure consultants can assist you to plan, deploy, manage, and protect a reliable, responsive, and secure network infrastructure to support your SQL Server 2017 deployment for any network model including onsite, private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid.
- Cybersecurity and Compliance: Progent's security and compliance experts have earned prestigious international cybersecurity certifications including CISA, CISM, CISSP, CISSP-ISSAP, CRISC, and GIAC. Progent offers businesses of any size a range of cybersecurity assessment, recovery, and network monitoring services to protect against modern cyber threats and validate compliance with government regulations and industry standards.
- Virtualization Expertise: Progent can assist your organization to plan and implement a cost-effective virtualization strategy for SQL Server 2017 and offers the support of certified Windows Hyper-V consultants, VMware vSphere and vCloud experts, VMware NSX virtual network professionals, and Citrix XenServer consultants to help you deploy, manage and troubleshoot your virtualization environment.
- ProSight Remote Monitoring and Management Services: Progent's ProSight family of remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions are designed to provide an affordable and effective way for businesses of any size to benefit from modern, enterprise-class tools for IT management. ProSight managed services provide comprehensive monitoring at a fixed monthly rate and cover critical facets of network management including information assurance, cloud backup, malware protection based on behavior analysis, virtual machine hosting, and IT documentation management. To find out more about how Progent's ProSight managed services can help protect your investment in SQL Server, visit ProSight remote network management services.
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning: Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants can help you design, test, and document a disaster recovery plan that incorporates SQL Server 2017's high-availability features so you can maximize system uptime and reduce recovery time for critical workloads. Progent's business continuity planning consultants can help you create and document a comprehensive strategy to keep your business operating in case of a major disruptive event. The business continuity plan takes into account network technology issues but also addresses the logistical problems associated with keeping vital business processes functioning. For enterprise networks, Progent offers the support of a VMware VCDX-certified VMware Site Recovery Manager consultant and VMware NSX network virtualization expert to help you plan, configure, and manage a disaster-recovery solution for private cloud and hybrid-cloud environments.
- Remote Consulting and Troubleshooting: Progent has two decades of experience providing online consulting, application development, and troubleshooting solutions. Online delivery of consulting services saves time and money and reduces costly downtime. Progent has successfully provided remote network consulting and technical support to businesses of all sizes in every state in the U.S. (See Progent's customer testimonials.) Progent can also provide on-premises support in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States and in the Toronto area of Canada.
To learn more about Progent's SQL Server 2017 consulting services, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
If you need immediate online technical support from a Microsoft-certified consultant, refer to Progent's Online Network Support.
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