SQL Server On Linux!
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 08 March 2016

The next version of SQL Server will be available on Linux with both cloud and on-premises versions on offer.

The Linux version is currently only available to testers taking part in a private preview version, and it won't be feature complete when it is launched, which is slated for mid 2017. Instead having only the core relational database features with be included.

Meanwhile SQL Server 2016 for Windows is expected to launch later this year, with a Release Candidate due to be released this week at Microsoft's Data Driven event in New York on Thursday, March 10.


sql loves linux


The thinking behind Microsoft porting SQL Server to Linux is obviously the prospect of selling more licenses, and to enable SQL Server to compete better with rival products such as Oracle and MySQL. It does, however, run the risk of removing one of the reasons for customers to buy Windows Server, given the relative cheapness of Linux. The private preview only supports Ubuntu at the moment, with plans to add support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux over coming months.

Writing about the Linux version on the official Microsoft blog, Scott Guthrie, head of Microsoft's Cloud & Enterprise business, said:

"SQL Server on Linux will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution."

While the Linux version will be restricted to core relational database features, one aspect that will be included according to Guthrie is the Stretch Database feature. This lets you access your data in-house or in the cloud, with warm and cold transactional data 'stretched' from Microsoft SQL Server 2016 to Azure. In practical terms, what this means is that after you enable Stretch Database for a SQL Server instance, a database and at least one table, it silently begins to migrate your historical data to Azure.

The Windows version of SQL Server 2016 has improved security encryption so that data is encrypted at rest, in motion and in-memory. 

The performance has also been improved, especially for in-memory database with "performance increases up to 30-100x" according to Guthrie. In-memory analysis based on Microsoft's Hekaton engine for OLTP has also been improved, and mobile BI support has been added for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.

Support for the R statistical analysis language has also been added, building on the technology Microsoft acquired as part of the deal when it bought Revolution Analytics in January 2015. Revolution Analytics' main product was a platform for developing and deploying R-based analysis applications for use on big data. Guthrie said the new support will enable:

"customers to do real-time predictive analytics on both operational and analytic data".

More details of what will be in SQL Server 2016, and the timescale for launch, will be made at the Data Driven event.

Long term Microsoft watchers just have to be amazed that this day has come - SQL Server on Linux, however it all makes perfect sense and it is a good move on Microsoft's part. 


sql loves linux

More Information

Application Page For SQL Server On Linux

Scott Guthrie Blog Post

Microsoft Data Driven Event

Related Articles

Microsoft Unveils Free R Server

SQL Server 2016 And Azure Data Lake

First Preview Of SQL Server 2016

In-Memory OLTP In Depth


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 March 2016 )