I made a number of predictions for the opening keynote at the PASS Summit. I wrote the predictions a week before the event, making my own guesses about what might be revealed. I was busy in pre-conference sessions on Monday and Tuesday, so I had to write something well in advance of the event. I was flying home yesterday, so I had no chance to watch the keynote until later, so this is a look back after catching up Wednesday evening at home.
How did I do?
With the Ignite conference taking place this week, I had guessed that SQL Server 2019 would release there and then be a part of the Summit keynote. I was right. On Monday, as I was taking a break during the SQL in the City Summit, I saw that SQL Server 2019 had been released. A milestone, and perhaps one that I think changes the data platform. It’s an inflection point, and I agree with this tweet from Distinguished Engineer, Slava Oks. Rohan Kumar did announce it at PASS as well, so maybe half credit here?
I didn’t mention Hyperscale yesterday, as I wasn’t sure what I knew as NDA and what was possible. The demonstration of Azure Arc, and Hyperscale for PostgreSQL, is pretty cool. While I used to think Hyperscale was only for the largest of the large databases, I now think that many smaller, 2-4TB systems (I can’t believe I think of that as small), might consider moving to Hyperscale and preparing for future growth into the low single digits of TBs. BTW, Azure Arc is amazing. I knew about it previously, but didn’t expect it this year. I did mention Azure Stack deploying on premise, and I think the Azure Arc covers this, so 1 1/2 right.
Azure Synapse was something I didn’t expect. I have been looking at Big Data Clusters as a game changer with the relational platform. Synapse combines the Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Data Lakes into a platform. Since these were both the places where we first got compute separated from storage, this makes sense. Both of these platforms seemed similar to me, so combining them and letting customers drop structured and unstructured data.
The Edge is a bigger deal than I thought. This was mentioned as a private preview during Build, and I should have guessed this would move to public preview. This as one of those areas that I haven’t been as focused on and wasn’t sure about information I’ve gotten under NDA, so I didn’t include this. Certainly a miss here, but I do think the demo in the keynote with Zeiss and making decisions from sensor data is something more organizations will do. Sensors generate too much data and trying to move all that across a network to the cloud doesn’t make sense. Train models and let some low power SQL Server Edge engine make a few decisions without moving data.
There was more in the keynote, and it’s worth watching. If nothing else, I think both the opening Ignite keynote and the opening Summit keynote are inspiring for us as data professionals. You can dream about possibilities and truly see that data is an important asset that Microsoft is empowering us to make better decisions about based on analytics.