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Microsoft announced in 2016 that SQL Server would be available on Linux. Everyone was shocked. It was a surprise. Microsoft wanted to not only own the football but also the stadium, players and league. They suddenly became kinder, more gentle, and more open to all.
SQL Server 2017 has been out for a year now, and you might be wondering if SQL Server Linux is available for your organization. You can’t go wrong when Microsoft is involved in this fusion. SQL Server for Linux works exactly as you expect.
Your organization should now be using SQL Server for Linux. Here’s why.
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Microsoft’s willingness to work with Linux was a natural outcome. Microsoft has been investing more time, money, technology in its cloud platform, Azure. Linux has been a viable alternative to Microsoft Azure in the cloud environment.
Microsoft had to accept the fact that exclusivity will not win them any favors if they were to get serious about this area. They can still make Azure revenue by offering a Linux-based SQL Server. That’s a win for them.
They’re doing it. SQL Server on Linux is Microsoft’s most downloaded product. It claims that it has been downloaded more than seven million times. This is a good example of the typical download volume for Microsoft server products. They are often in the hundreds of thousands.
Microsoft doesn’t need to be a big player with this new product. Microsoft is a dominant player in both the server market and the technology market. Their revenue isn’t declining, and their popularity makes it worth trying in the Linux-compatible universe.
Case Studies Look Good
The initial release of SQL Server for Linux was done on a case by case basis. There have been many successes.
Humantech, an ergonomics consulting company that began as an in-person consultation, was one of their biggest successes. But they moved into a business model of software-as-a-service. This type of transition requires a complete IT overhaul. They were fortunate that SQL Server for Linux was available at the time. Their company used Microsoft SQL Server on Windows Server to run the production and development environments. The rest of the environment was on Linux operating systems. The cost and time required to run these processes in two different environments was prohibitive and time-consuming. There had to be a compromise.
Instead of learning a new Linux-compatible database like Oracle from scratch, they chose to stick with the database they were familiar with. Humantech wanted something durable and flexible, so they looked into SQL Server for Linux. It was easy to upgrade to SQL Server 2017 by using the backup and restore procedure for their SQL Server 2008.
The result? Humantech saw a 50% reduction in support and maintenance expenses. They also saved time by not having to learn on a new database. They also increased their security and reliability.
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Integration with SQL: The Power of Integration
Two challenges faced by Microsoft in making SQL Server available for Linux was the real challenge. SQL Server users who have been using it for years expect specific functionality, familiarity, and appearance. The application cannot be static. It must be dynamic.