Download SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 Offline Installer: The SQL Server team is enthusiastic to bring you the second service pack launch for SQL Server 2016. The service pack is now ready and available for download on the Microsoft Download Center and will also be coming soon to MBS/Partner Source, Visual Studio Subscriptions, and VLSC. As part of our assurance to software brilliance for our customers, this upgrade is accessible to all customers with existing SQL Server 2016 deployments.
SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 has a roll-up of released hotfixes as well as multiple enhancements centered around scalability, performance, and supportability based on the response from customers and the SQL community. These enhancements enable SQL Server 2016 to perform faster and with extended supportability and diagnostics. It also showcases the SQL Server product team’s dedication on providing continued value into in-market releases.
SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2 contains:
- Performance and scale enhancements for SQL Server, such as enhanced database backup performance on huge memory machines and added backup compression support, which supports the performance of almost all databases.
- Supportability and diagnostics improvements, such as improved troubleshooting and supplementary information about statistics used during query plan optimization.
- New developments based on Connect feedback items filed by the SQL Server Community.
- Some enhancements originally introduced in SQL Server 2012 SP4 and SQL Server 2014 SP2.
Changes made in SQL Server 2016 SP2
Changes based on performance and scale:
- Enhanced Distribution DB clean-up procedure – An oversized distribution database tables triggered blocking and deadlock situation. An enhanced clean-up procedure aims to eradicate some of these blocking or deadlock scenarios.
- Change of Tracking Clean up – Enhanced change tracking clean up performance and productivity for Change Tracking side tables.
- Support for stopping request through setting CPU time out in Resource Governor – Advances the handling of query requests by actually stopping the request, if CPU thresholds for a request are reached.
- SELECT INTO to form target table in the desired filegroup – Opening SQL Server 2016 SP2, SELECT INTO T-SQL syntax helps to load a table into a filegroup other than a default filegroup of the user with the help of ON <Filegroup name> keyword in T-SQL syntax.
- Enhanced Indirect Checkpoint for TempDB – Indirect checkpointing for TempDB is enhanced to curtail the spinlock contention on DP Lists. This enhancement allows TempDB workload on SQL Server 2016 to scale out of the box if indirect checkpointing is ON for TempDB.
- Improved database backup performance on big memory machines – SQL Server 2016 SP2 optimizes the method by which we drain the on-going I/O during backup resulting in dramatic improvement in backup performance for small to medium databases.
- VDI backup compression support for TDE supported databases – SQL Server 2016 SP2, includes VDI support to permit VDI backup solutions to leverage compression for TDE enabled databases. With this enhancement, a new backup format has been presented to support backup compression for TDE enabled databases.
- Dynamic loading of duplication agent profile parameters – This new enhancements allows duplication agents parameters to be loaded dynamically without restarting the agent. This change is pertinent only to the most commonly used agent profile parameters.
- 9. It Supports MAXDOP option for statistics create/update – This improvement allows to specify the MAXDOP option for a CREATE/UPDATE statistics statement, also it ensures that right MAXDOP setting is used when statistics are updated as part of creating or rebuild for all types of indexes (if the MAXDOP option is present)
- Enhanced Auto Statistics Update for Incremental Statistics – In some scenarios, when a number of data changes occurred across multiple partitions in a table in a way that the whole modification counter for incremented statistics surpasses the auto-update threshold, but none of the individual partitions surpass the auto-update threshold, statistics update may be deferred until much more modifications happen in the table.
Changes based on Supportability and Diagnostics:
- Now there will be Full DTC support for databases in an Availability Group – Cross-databases transactions for databases which are part of an Availability Group are currently not supported for SQL Server 2016. With SQL Server 2016 SP2, we are presenting full support for distributed transactions with Availability Group Databases.
- Update to the sys.databases is_encrypted column to accurately reflect encryption status for TempDB – The value of an is_encryptedcolumn column in sys.databases is 1 for TempDB, even after you turn off encryption for all user restart SQL Server and databases. The probable behavior would be that the value for this is 0, since TempDB is no longer encrypted in this situation. Beginning with SQL Server 2016 SP2, sys.databases.is_encrypted now accurately reflects encryption status for TempDB.
- New DBCC CLONEDATABASE options to generate verified clone and backup – With SQL Server 2016 SP2, DBCC CLONEDATABASE permits 2 new options: produce a verified clone, or produce a backup clone. When a clone database is formed using WITH VERIFY_CLONEDB option, a consistent database clone is created and verified which will be supported by Microsoft for production use. A new property is announced to validate if the clone is verified SELECT DATABASEPROPERTYEX(‘clone_database_name’, ‘IsVerifiedClone’). When a clone is created with BACKUP_CLONEDB option, a backup is generated in the same folder as the data file to make it simple for customers to move the clone to a different server or to send it to Microsoft Customer Support (CSS) for troubleshooting.
- 4. Service Broker (SSB) support for DBCC CLONEDATABASE – Enhanced DBCC CLONEDATABASE command to allow scripting of SSB objects.
- New DMV to monitor TempDB version store space usage – A new sys.dm_tran_version_store_space_usage DMV is introduced in SQL Server 2016 SP2 to allow monitoring TempDB for version store usage. DBAs can now proactively plan TempDB sizing based on the version store usage requirement per database, without any performance overhead when running it on production servers.
- Full Dumps support for Replication Agents – Today if replication agents encounter an unhandled exception, the default is to create a minidump of the exception symptoms. This makes troubleshooting unhandled exception issues very difficult. Through this change, we are announcing a new Registry key, which would allow making a full dump for Replication Agents.
- Extended Events enhancement for reading routing failure for an Availability Group– Before, the read_only_rout_fail xEvent fired if there was a routing list present, but none of the servers in the routing list were available for connections. SQL Server 2016 SP2 consists of additional information to assist with troubleshooting, and also expand on the code points where this xEvent gets fired.
- New DMV to monitor VLF information – A new DMV sys.dm_db_log_info is introduced in SQL Server 2016 SP2 to expose the VLF information similar to DBCC LOGINFO to monitor, alert and avert potential T-Log problems faced by customers.
- Processor Information in sys.dm_os_sys_info – New columns added to the sys.dm_os_sys_info DMV to expose the processor related information, such as socket_count, and cores_per_numa.
- 10. Extent modified information in sys.dm_db_file_space_usage – New column added to sys.dm_db_file_space_usage to track the number of modified extents since the last full backup.
- 11. Segment information in sys.dm_exec_query_stats – New columns were added to sys.dm_exec_query_stats to track number of columnstore segments skipped and read, such as total_columnstore_segment_reads, and total_columnstore_segment_skips.
- Setting accurate compatibility level for distribution database – After Service Pack installation, the Distribution database compatibility level changes to 90. This was due to a code path in sp_vupgrade_replication stored procedure. The SP has now been changed to set the right compatibility level for the distribution database.
- Expose last recognized good DBCC CHECKDB information – A new database option has been included to programmatically return the date of the last effective DBCC CHECKDB run. Users can now query DATABASEPROPERTYEX([database], ‘last good checkdb time’) to attain a single value representing the date/time of the last successful DBCC CHECKDB run on the specified database.
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