Unlocking Data Insights with PowerEdge and Microsoft SQL Server

Understanding how to uncover insights and drive value from data can give your organization a distinct competitive advantage. This can be complicated since the IT landscape is constantly evolving, especially when it comes to data management and analytics. In a recently published report, ESG surveyed IT decision makers and “nearly two-thirds (64%) said they believe IT is more complex now compared with two years ago; and another 17% said it is significantly more complex.”

Organizations can navigate these complexities by focusing on unlocking data insights and bolstering their security posture to protect data.

Unlocking Data Insights

One of the biggest advancements in database technology came with the introduction of SQL Server 2019 and its new data analytics capabilities. Using R and Python, SQL’s Machine Learning Services can analyze data across multiple disparate data sources, not just the data contained within the SQL database. SQL is no longer just a database, it is the engine that will collect and analyze data – wherever that data lives and in whatever form – structured or unstructured. This eliminates the time and expense associated with data ingestion providing quicker insights to inform business decisions.

Also key is SQL 2019’s platform compatibility. For the first time, there is full feature parity with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Kubernetes. A Linux shop can get the full benefit of SQL without having to refactor to Windows.

The reporting capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Services, along with the included Power BI Report Server, produce powerful reports that take ones and zeros and provide real information. The translation of data into knowledge gives business an edge.

In order to make the most of these cutting-edge capabilities, it is worth taking a look at the hardware that houses the data estate. When time is of the essence, it is important to be able to process this data efficiently, with little to no latency. That is one of the ways PowerEdge servers with Intel® Optane™ persistent memory can add value to the SQL server environment. Optane persistent memory enables transactions to be performed directly on the memory bus, eliminating the extra time needed for data to transfer between the storage module to the processor. In simpler terms, having the option of storage available in a memory slot gives data quick access to the “brains” of the server. Consider this, a Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd server using Intel® Optane™ persistent memory delivered 2.2 times the Microsoft SQL Server 2019 performance of a two-NVMe drive configuration and improved performance even more significantly over SATA SSDs—delivering 11.3 times the transactions per minute.¹

SQL is Synonymous with Security

Protecting the data that is the foundation of business is top of mind. In fact, ESG reports that organizations are fighting the battle on two fronts: “40% of respondents identified the need to strengthen their cyber security position, but nearly half (44%) also cite chronic skill shortages in the area of cybersecurity.”

Fortunately, SQL is widely recognized as a secure data platform. It is designed with a number of security and compliance features, including the ability to encrypt sensitive data. It is important to know that security patches for SQL 2008 ended in July 2019 and SQL 2012 mainstream service life ended October 2018. Given these recent end of support dates and benefits, now is the optimal time to consider migrating to SQL Server 2019.

Protecting data infrastructure starts at the hardware level. PowerEdge servers are built with integrated security features such as the “always-on” iDRAC, which can provide system monitoring and alerts. Security features are built directly into the firmware to help block malicious attacks, detect deviant activity, and restore critical operations when necessary.

Additionally, Dell Technologies OpenManage systems management solutions can help simplify, automate, and optimize IT operations. For example, OpenManage Integrations for Microsoft System Center and Windows Admin Center enables visibility and control of hardware infrastructure, operating system, virtual machines, and containers.

Simplifying the Data Management Landscape

Dell Technologies and Microsoft have partnered for over 35 years. During that time, Dell has received numerous global competencies and over 50 Microsoft “Partner of the Year” awards. This long-standing relationship makes Dell Technologies the ideal infrastructure partner as we offer a broad suite of products to support Microsoft platforms.

Choosing to implement new software does not have to be complicated. Eliminate the need to manage multiple purchase orders or vendors with a PowerEdge and SQL 2019 OEM solution. Customers who choose to purchase SQL with their PowerEdge servers will be able to easily install the software on their PowerEdge platform.

Learn more about how PowerEdge servers can be the foundation for an all-in-one database solution with SQL 2019. Read the full ESG study, or join the conversation @DellEMCServers.

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¹Based on Principled Technologies Report commissioned by Dell EMC, “Watch your transactional database performance climb with Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory. Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd servers with Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory handled more transactions per minute than configurations with NAND flash NVMe drives or SATA SSDs,” November 2019, comparing a Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd with Optane™ DC Memory to the same system with SSDs and NVMe drives. Actual result will vary.

Angela Yen

About the Author: Angela Yen

Angela Yen is part of the PowerEdge Product Marketing team. She is excited about telling great stories that showcases how technology can empower people and organizations. Prior to joining Dell, Angela was Director of Communications at an education-focused nonprofit in San Diego. Angela earned an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin and a BA in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. Outside of work, you can find Angela tending to her houseplants and her two kitties.