Expanding the Market: MS SQL Server 2017 and Linux

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Microsoft’s exciting cross-platform product, SQL Server 2017, is poised to reach a whole new audience. Recently this industry leader has joined the growing trend of support for open source solutions.  Our team is continually investigating new innovations for our clients, and we wanted to share what we have discovered about new features and performance.

Why Now?

Linux is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its security, stability, and efficiency.  Its design protects against virus and malware attacks with a complex architecture and secure user account structure.  With more and more businesses choosing Linux, Microsoft realized they were forcing clients to manage multiple environments by keeping SQL Server only on Windows.  Rohan Kumar, then General Manager of Microsoft Database Systems, discussed the decision with Frederic Lardinois for Tech Crunch.  “We had a couple of discussions in the past where it wasn’t approved,” he told Lardinois, but four years ago his team recognized the value of expanding, so they pitched the idea once again. “The biggest surprising part was that we were expecting a whole lot of back and forth. It was really surprising to see how quickly the decisions got made,” recalls Kumar.


With the company’s support in place, Kumar’s team needed to work out the logistics.  They found a surprisingly simple solution already in progress. Project Drawbridge, started in 2011, creates a container within the API that enables Windows functionality across a range of systems.  The SQL database already controlled its own memory and thread management with SQL Operating System (SOS).  By adding Drawbridge to SOS, the team created a Platform Abstraction Layer (PAL) to access operating system functions so the database can run on a range of software options.  SQL Server 2017 is the exact same system operating from a single code base.

The Result

Customers can now reap the benefits of MS SQL Server while maintaining the flexibility and performance of Linux.  Those wondering about the functionality will be pleased to hear that SQL runs just as fast on both operating systems.  There are some features that are not yet available on Linux, but the main functionality is the same.  According to Microsoft (SQL Server 2017 on Linux) SQL on Linux uses Availability groups, Integration Services, and supports key workload function (warehouse and transactional).  Check out the SQL Server Release Notes to read more about the current functionality.

SQL on Linux also offers some improvements.  Microsoft’s development team wanted to maintain a native Linux experience, and so they focused on accessibility and ease of use.  One noticeable result: the install process is easier and more straightforward.

SQL Server’s support of Docker containers is a huge win as well.  Linux and Docker containers are much more advanced than their Windows counterpoints. With these containers you can create dev/test environments that are identical and enable better actualization of DevOps practices.

SQL on Linux support modern enterprise needs with an exciting new range of possibilities.  To learn more about how Dobler Consulting can help with your database management visit www.doblerconsulting.com or call us at +1 (813) 322-3240 (US) /+1 (416) 646-0651 (Canada)