SQL Server VMs
VNet Peering Generally Available – not specific to SQL Server VMs, VNet peering allows for more flexibility in communication. Two VNets can be “peered” (it’s recommended they’re in the same region and have different address spaces). This provides a low-latency, high-bandwidth connection between the resources in each VNet. This can reduce the complexity of having, say, an app server in one VNet and a SQL Server in another.
Temporal tables are a new feature for tracking historical data. When you create a table and specify WITH (SYSTEM_VERSIONING = ON (HISTORY_TABLE = Schema.TableNameHistory)), a system-versioned temporal table is automatically created. It will have a clustered index and page compression will be enabled, to improve performance and help manage storage. This feature can be helpful for long-term trending and analysis. To query the data for historical purposes, a new T-SQL option, FOR SYSTEM_TIME, has been introduced. When using this in SQL Database, be aware of how much space you’re using – implement a data retention policy and clean-up task!
Improved automatic tuning with SQL Database Advisor. When this feature is enabled, you can run a workload for as little as a day, and Advisor will begin offering recommendations. (There has to be activity for recommendations to appear.) These recommendations include indexes that could be created, or indexes that could be dropped. They can then be applied manually, or automatically by turning that option on.