Getting Started With SQL Server 2014 the Easy Way

Azure, PASS, SQL Server 2014
You know you want to at least take a look at the new Client Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2014. I don't blame you either. I want to spend hours swimming through it too. But, you're thinking to yourself, "Heck, I'd have to download the silly thing, provision a new VM, walk through the install... Nah. Too much work." I don't blame you. I found myself on the road the day the software was released, so I was going to attempt to do all that work on a hotel wireless system. In short, I was going to have to wait, no options. Or were there? Actually, there is a much easier option. Azure Virtual Machines. And no, it's not that I can simply get a Windows Azure VM ready to go…
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Praise and a Suggestion for AlwaysOn

SQL Server 2014
One of my favorite additions to SQL Server 2012 is the Availability Groups, referred to as AlwaysOn. These things are awesome. It's basically shared nothing clustering at a database-by-database level. You can set up a series of secondary machines that will enable you to failover a database in the event of an outage. This is a huge advantage in high availability and disaster recovery scenarios. We're talking serious business continuity. Further, you can set up one of those secondary machines to allow for reads, meaning, you get a reporting database that allows you to offload read queries from a transactional machine. Another giant win. But wait, it gets better. Now, with the capabilities that are coming with Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Virtual Networks you can go even further. It's…
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Oh ****!

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQLServerPedia Syndication
Did you ever accidentally close SQL Server Management Studio? And, in closing SSMS, did you get the prompt that says “Save changes to the following items?” And did you, completely unthinkingly, with a query you had just been working on, hit Cancel? Yeah, me neither. What kind of idiot does that…. OK. I confess. I just did that. Silly thing it was, but I had just spent at least 1/2 an hour working on a query and now it was gone…. or was it? I had just run the query and had been looking at the results when I closed SSMS. Initially, I panicked and started thinking about how I could get the data back (somewhere there’s a file I’ve heard). Then it occurred to me, I had just been…
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