Updates About SQL Server 2016 on Linux

It is an exciting news which already every one knew is Microsoft is bringing SQL Server on Linux—another towards making SQL Server industry-leading data management and business analytics platform, for any data, to run any application, anywhere. SQL Server support for linux will be built on SQL Server 2016, so SQL Server on Linux gives the users the power to build and deploy intelligent applications on a single data management and business analytics platform. The advantage of SQL Server’s low total cost of ownership, supporting existing tools and skills and new innovations battle-tested in the cloud, will make the SQL Server more interesting. Microsoft trying to make it easier for us to work with data of any type, size, and speed using the tools, languages, and frameworks we want to use in a trusted cloud, hybrid, or on-premises environment. It’s another step to make SQL Server simpler and more accessible. If you want to have a quick look on how SQL Server works on linux, then see the video. However, still there are many outstanding questions from community regarding which SQL Server features will not be supported when released, which features that are planned to be supported , licensing information, performance difference of running on Server 2016 on windows vs Linux, remote management support with PowerShell, availability of pre-built test VMs to download, Azure (in)compatibility, which flavors of UNIX/Linux will be supported, and comparison/contrast with the other popular database products normally used on Linux. Also, it would be interesting to know how the High Availability, Replication, Always On features work with SQL Server on linux.

Recent updates from Microsoft community via blog posts suggest that SQL Server on linux is already developer and is under testing and now also the Microsoft product support team is getting involved with the product and looks like few support team members got access to the setup media and were able to successfully installed SQL Server on linux without any issues and after using it a bit and reading about linux they feel that SQL Server on Linux is an attainable goal. As of now, the testing is going smooth without much issues, which actually is not good because without hitting any issues during initial internal testing, the product will not improve much. If many issues are identified by users or customers, that will bring a bad impression about the product, which in every case Microsoft wants to avoid. Microsoft support team is invaluable in helping improving the product because they have enormous experience is troubleshooting many issues over a period of time and they can try test simulating different ongoing issues which are encountered on Windows to linux and see the behavior and in the process of troubleshooting the problems, they will need to use different tools and the testing will bring support for those tools as well.

So far from the preview videos and blog posts we can see that we can use SQL Server on linux through SQLCMD command that we install on linux environment, so we are to reply on commands and no GUI support yet, which many SQL Server DBAs may not like, as we are very much used to GUI. However, after the release, with growing requests from DBAs and community, we may get a GUI tool as well. Just like any other product, it is expected to have many issues initially, but thing will improve with time. When SQL Server was initially developer, it was not great and was not even in competition with Oracle, MySQL, DB2, etc, but in 15 years, SQL Server was able to beat the competition with DB2, MySQL, Sybase and few other RDBMS products and giving a tough competition to Oracle as well. Also, with new cloud competition heating up, support for SQL Server in linux has become inevitable for Microsoft to be in completion with other RDBMS products.

Hope this was helpful.

This is applicable for below versions of SQL Server

SQL Server 2016

SQLServerF1 Team
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