You’re not excited by Linux. At least most of you in this community aren’t excited. A recent poll we ran showed that nearly two thirds of the people answering aren’t interested in even evaluating SQL Server on Linux. That’s an interesting result because in some groups I’ve spoken with, quite a few people are excited by the prospect of using a different host platform for their database.
When Microsoft first announced they were going to run SQL Server on Linux, I was excited, mostly because I think this means more applications and organizations would consider using SQL Server, which I think is a fantastic platform. It’s been the platform of choice for my entire career. However, from a business perspective, I wasn’t sure if this was a great idea. After all, Microsoft may reduce their revenue from Windows licenses if a large number of people moved to Linux for their underlying OS.
Does the OS matter? I don’t know if it does. I’m not sure how much revenue comes in from Windows Server licenses for hosting SQL Server. I’m sure it’s a significant number, but will the number decline substantially if some people move to Linux from Windows for their SQL Servers? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t think many people make that move.
Instead, I think the people excited by Linux hosting SQL Server are those that already are deeply committed to the Linux platform and avoid SQL Server because they don’t want to run Windows servers. There will be DB2 and Oracle databases that might move to a much less expensive SQL Server license. Certainly I expect lots of (free) Express editions installed by developers, which will allow them to gain experience, and perhaps be more comfortable in the future with SQL Server as a data platform.
It’s hard to know if the move to Linux will result in a big change to Microsoft’s bottom line, but I do think it opens up many new opportunities for us, as data professionals, to find work. With the way that SQL Server works and the seamless way the Linux version seems to behave, I don’t even think most of us need to know much about Linux to develop or manage an instance on that platform.