The General, Database Files, Transaction Log Files are still the same as in NAV 2009 R2.
Because we (FINALLY!) have Unicode in NAV, the SQL collation has been dropped. A negative point is that the database will probably be bigger (depending also on the number of dimensions you have and how you use them) but after all, this is a minor problem. Because Microsoft can finally concentrate all efforts for developing on SQL server without having to think about the native database (You do know the native database has been dropped, don’t you?) and the classic client , they can write more efficient code for (both C/AL-code and the code for the NAV executables) .
First: NAV2013 is faster than NAV2009R2. And quite a lot faster. Some blogs are already reporting this : http://navigateintosuccess.com/blog/benchmarking-results-nav-2013-outperforms-all-previous-versions , http://navigateintosuccess.com/blog/top-5-sql-server-improvements-in-nav-2013 , http://dynamicsuser.net/blogs/stryk/archive/2012/05/24/nav-2013-beta-first-impressions.aspx
And I am also doing some item journal and invoice posting tests and my first results is that NAV2013 is a lot faster.
NAV databases are still quite small by SQL Server standards anyway (I remember a time that a native Navision DB of 150 MB was considered very big…[Am I THAT old?????] ). A 1 TB database is not so big for SQL server. And servers continue to get more memory all the time. And now we also have SSD’s that get bigger all the time.
For backups there is no problem, because starting with SQL 2008 (only Enterprise Edition) and SQL 2008 R2 (standard Edition) we have backup compression (Don’t tell me you don’t use it! Even if you have a non-compressed database, you can’t restore it on an older SQL server version! So USE BACKUP COMPRESSION!!!!).
And if you have Enterprise Edition, you can also compress some tables and indexes (and the compression-ratios can be quite impressive).
Toggle "Access=>Members of db_owner,dbcreator, or sysadmin" has disappeared. I don’t know why, but it is not a bad thing because I never used it (or needed it). Some actions needed to have Single user access but never this access. So not a bad thing.
Toggle "Settings=>Allow Find As You Type" has disappeared. Good riddance of that performance nuisance. I suppose it is because there is no more classic client (but I noticed that in the classic client Development Environment when doing a find in the Object Designer, the "Find As You Type" is still there.
Toggle "Settings=>Enable for Microsoft Dynamics NAV Server" has disappeared. Well, it should always be true in NAV2013 only having the RTC so why keep it.
Toggle "Settings=>Torn Page Detection" is still there. I had preferred they removed it completely. In SQL 2000 there was no other option to be sure that the pages were intact. But starting with SQL 2005 there is also the checksum option that is a lot better (I also found an old blog post I wrote http://mibuso.com/blogs/kriki/2010/03/24/torn-page-detection-in-alter-database-tab-options/ )
Toggle "Convert Identifiers" disappeared. It should be true anyway.
"Convert Identifiers" changed from <."\/’> to <."\/’%][>. I think it is best NOT to mess with these (I never did in the past). But there might be a catch. If you have created some SQL objects using these NAV-tables and you have used the new characters in your NAV-table/field names, the NAV-tables/fields will have changed names in SQL.
Toggle "Always rowlock" disappeared. I am not sure why this disappeared. It might be useful. If someone knows more why this disappeared I would like to know.
"Security Model" disappeared. Again good riddance! Now that NAV instead of (SQL Server) again decides who may want to see/update/create what, there is no more need at all to push the permissions to SQL (The enhanced security model was a pain in the <beep> anyway).
"Caching Record Set" disappeared. Now those lousy (lousy in the meaning performance-killers and NOT that they are buggy) SQL-cursors are gone also the FINDSET to get a bunch of records in 1 go without a cursor is not needed anymore, o also the setup has gone (BTW: the FINDSET is still there but it works the same as FIND(’-') now).
"Start ID (UidOffset)" is new. This is very nice for add-on development. When you develop an add-on, the ID’s of your variables should also fall in the range of your add-on. In NAV2009xx you needed the create a new function (with a certain ID) in codeunit 1 that returns the value of the starting ID of your variables. Now it is a lot easier. But when you change it, the other development sessions still need to the standard NAV-thing (=log off + log on).