Microsoft is expanding the potential user base for the soon-to-be-released flagship database server: Microsoft SQL Server 2016 will be able to run on Linux.
Yes, you read that right.
Microsoft has been getting closer to Linux for some time. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, while presenting at the Microsoft Cloud Briefing in October 2014, highlighted this sentiment with a slide that clearly displays the affection.
Since that proclamation, Linux and Microsoft have gotten closer. There is now a PowerShell Desired State Configuration client for Linux. Linux continues to be present in management and monitoring options created by Microsoft, such as the Azure-powered Microsoft Operations Management Suite.
Managing and monitoring, however, are worlds apart from running SQL Server on Linux. When Microsoft began managing and monitoring Linux through its System Center product line, itacknowledged that Linux was there.
By extending SQL Server 2016 to run on Linux, it signals more than acknowledgement — it signals acceptance, and it shows an awareness of the current technology landscape. By meeting its customers where they are and not where it wants them to be, Microsoft shows that it’s able to help serve people better by providing products, services and support no matter what the customer’ situation is.
In short, the announcement that Microsoft SQL Server 2016 will be able to run on Linux shows that Microsoft is making moves to become a software company that is ready to change the industry once again. By showing that it is willing to play a role in an enterprise, even if a Microsoft product isn’t the primary operating system, it will get much more buy-in as a trusted provider.
SQL Server 2016 is currently in Release Candidate 0 and is available to download for evaluation. The latest version includes updates to the SQL Server platform in both features and performance increases.The private preview of SQL Server on Linux is also available now.