Installing SQL Server 2016 – Is it any different?

Howdy…it’s been a long time I’ve written something related to SQL Server here in my blog. So here I am, I took some time out of my holidays to download and Install  SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.0 in my laptop. Let me share my thoughts on what has been changed/improved with setup experience.

One thing I’ve noticed is during “Features selection” phase, there’s a new feature called “Polybase Query Service for External Data” which requires Oracle JRE to be installed before in hand manually. See below…


If you choose Polybase Service without installing JRE, you get below error.


You can download JRE from the link shown below:


After I Installed JRE, I passed that screen without any errors.


So what is Polybase service? At a high level it’s an interface which lets us query Big data from SQL server using SQL Statements.

Moving on, in the section where we typically provide Service accounts, I noticed a wonderful enhancement. See below…


This takes care of Instant File Initialization(IFI) of all your data files for your databases 🙂 That’s fantastic….!

Moving on, under DB Engine configuration page, there is a new tab for tempdb. So, now SQL Server setup is smart enough to identify number of CPU cores you’ve got and will create tempdb files accordingly. You can choose initial size and growth settings for tempdb data and log files per your requirements.


This is an excellent enhancement IMHO. I’ve seen hundreds of servers where tempdb has been misconfigured in my experience.

Since I’ve selected Ploybase service initially, it has prompted me to configure polybase service per below screenshot.


After 10 mins or so….my installation completed successfully and below is what I see from my SSMS:


  • SQL Server version: 13.0.700 ( This is SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.0)
  • DB version is 839. But interestingly I noticed master database has been created in 836 version and upgraded to 839! Normally we see this when a database has been upgraded from older version to a newer version.
  • Every database has a new node called “External resources”
  • Three DW databases have been created by SQL Server since I’ve selected this Instance will serve as head node for my polybase configuration.
  • Each database has a new property category called “Query Store”. See below…


Query store is one of my favorite features microsoft announced for SQL 2016 besides temporal tables. At a very high level Temporal tables feature allows us to do time travel without any third party tools and Query store is a game changer in performance tuning area for DBAs and Developers. I will come up with blog posts on these topics once I explore these features in detail.


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