The focus is on the key improvements that allow “a consistent programmability surface area for developers and organizations across SQL Server editions.” Developers will benefit from scaling across all editions and cloud as the application advances.
Furthermore, the SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 introduces all the supportability and diagnostics improvements first seen in SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2. There are also new improvements and fixes regarding performance, supportability, programmability and diagnostics. The improvements are based on the valuable feedback from customers and SQL community.
The detailed list of all the new improvements in SQL Server 2016 SP1 is available here.
The Service Pack 1 contains solutions provided in the latest SQL Server 2016 cumulative update – CU3, released on November 8th. Therefore, users don't have to wait for Service Pack 1 to “catch–up” with SQL Server 2016 CU3 content.
Improving Analysis Services
SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 also delivers additional performance and scalability enhancements to SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services. The edition offers better NUMA awareness, along with the optimized memory allocation based on Intel Threading Building Blocks (Intel TBB).
The Intel TBB-based scalable allocator helps reduce performance issues due to heap fragmentation. The new edition also helps customers to lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by supporting more users on fewer, more powerful enterprise servers.
Microsoft says its internal performance and scalability testing shows significant gains in query throughput when running SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 Analysis Services on large multi-node enterprise servers, compared to previous Analysis Services versions. However, the company states that the results may vary depending on your specific data and workload characteristics.
The detailed list of SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services improvements is available here
The SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center. It is also available as a Feature Pack, a collection of stand-alone packages which provide additional value for Microsoft SQL Server.
The installation may require reboot post installation. Microsoft recommends to plan and perform a reboot following the installation. The company also states that the upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2016 deployments.
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 has been made generally available for everyone on June 1st, after leaving the preview phase. Recently, Microsoft brought SQL Server 2016 to preview on the Linux and Windows platform. The release is accompanied by updates to several SQL tools.