Would You Move to Linux for Price?

Running software on Linux is supposed to be cheaper than Windows. After all, you don’t need to pay for an OS license, right? I’m not sure I think the price of the OS is a determining factor, since it’s a relatively low amount compared to the cost of the database license. I’m sure some of your feel differently, and I’d be happy to listen to your argument as to why the Linux is better on price.

In any case, Microsoft is looking to push the Linux version of SQL Server. For a limited time (until June 30, 2018), you can get 30% off the cost of a SQL Server license. They’ve also gotten the cost of SUSE Enterprise Server down to $0 for a year if you are a qualified customer. This does require an annual subscription, which I assume means Software Assurance. There’s not a lot of information available on their page, and I assume you’d need to call Microsoft and go through the sales process.

It’s an interesting offer. I wonder if this would really make a difference for some of you. For the purpose of a discussion, let’s say you run an older version of SQL Server on Windows, like SQL 2000 or 2005. You want to upgrade, but your boss has been worried about costs. Now you see a 30% savings on Linux. Do you consider moving to a Linux OS instead of Windows? Let’s assume you have some Linux resources inside the company, and so there isn’t a large learning curve. Does 30% make enough of a difference do change the underlying platform? After all, for the post part, SQL Server is SQL Server.

What if you are a Linux shop already, and you have Oracle or DB2 in house. You’re looking to move some software to a new system, or maybe develop new applications and SQL Server is being considered for cost savings. You’ve avoided it because it has required Windows in the past. Do you now consider SQL Server a more viable candidate as a relational database inside your environment?

Would you move to Linux for a better price?

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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2 Responses to Would You Move to Linux for Price?

  1. Cheaper cost makes sense. Honestly though my main interest in SQL Server on Linux is for dev docker images. I’m not in a place where I’d setup Linux on premisis or on a project where PaaS SQL makes sense anyway. I’m more concerned with MSFT investing in AD/Kerberos support
    for SQL Server drivers for various languages, Samba interop, and PAM drivers.

    SQL Server is just a better database than MySQL and postgres period. SQL Server on Linux docker images means I can setup a proper docker dev environment for SQL on Linux for whatever apps I’m writing in Python, PHP, etc. SQL Server on Linux allows me to convince my employer to rent more SqlDB PaaS instances.

    There are definitely shops that will do on premisis SQL Server on Linux, and those customers are definitely negotiation their Microsoft license spend at the CFO level. I expect they will ultimately pay more because they will be doing joint development partner type work for SQL Server on Linux.

    • way0utwest says:

      I tend to agree that SQL Server is a great platform. I run both Win and Linux in a lab, though I’m ambivalent at this point. I’d run SQL Server anywhere.

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