Years ago I wrote an April Fools story about SQL Server running on Linux. For years, this was one of the most popular referrals at SQLServerCentral from Google as many people apparently wanted to get SQL Server on Linux. Well, my joke is now reality. On the official Microsoft blog, there was an announcement of SQL Server running on Linux in preview last week.
Apparently substantial work has been done in this area if there’s a preview available, with an aim to release a product in mid-2017. That’s somewhat amazing, and I’m very curious about this in two different ways. One is how they technically made this work. With different threading and schedulers, this is fascinating from a technical perspective.This makes me wonder how much porting work was done, and will continue to be, necessary. Will there be issues keeping the Linux version up to date with the Windows one?
However I also wonder what the business model is. Are there that many people who want to, or would, run SQL Server that don’t want a Windows OS? I know that the people managing the OS might see SQL Server as just another database application, but I haven’t run into many places that would refuse to install Windows. Maybe this capitalizes on the Azure Data Lake work on Ubuntu? Or the desire to integrate SQL Server more tightly with Hadoop/HDInsight, many installs of which run on Linux? I suspect there are groups more comfortable with Linux and the LAMP stack than Windows, and this gives them the chance to use the incredible SQL Server platform on the OS they are comfortable with.
This is exciting as a SQL Server professional, giving us more potential opportunities for employment and new challenges for the platform. I expect to see SQL Server continue to grow and prosper as one of the premier relational database platforms in the world. As we move to a more cloud based, hosted model for our software, having our platform be independent of the OS is, I think, a good thing.