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Organizations need a fast, flexible way to deploy a reliable database for their cloud-native applications. We're pleased to announce the immediate availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 with Microsoft SQL Server 2019 in the AWS Marketplace for organizations that want to deploy SQL Server for their applications on AWS.

Building applications for the hybrid cloud is an important part of an organization’s digital transformational journey. As organizations increase their utilization of hybrid environments, consistency becomes a key requirement. 

Having a common operating system, both on-premises and in the cloud, allows teams to focus less on the underlying platform and more on new features, products, and innovations that contribute to business growth. This standard platform must still be stable and reliable, and it needs to provide a consistent interface for management wherever it is running. The proven Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system provides an ideal platform to address all of these needs. 

In April 2021, Red Hat and Amazon announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with High Availability on Amazon EC2, making available a variety of license-included AMIs that can be easily deployed.

With the growing popularity of running Microsoft SQL Server on AWS and building on the certification of SQL Server 2019 on RHEL 8, AWS has launched the license-included SQL Server 2019 on RHEL 8 with high-availability add-on(HA) images. These images will offer standard and enterprise editions of SQL Server 2019 and are available through the AWS marketplace, and the EC2 Quicklaunch.

So, why consider using SQL Server 2019 on RHEL 8 on AWS?  

In a recent survey, performed by Unisphere Research and sponsored by Red Hat, of SQL Server database administrators nearly a third of the more than 300 respondents indicated they were running SQL Server on Linux. The most popular distribution among the respondents?  Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 

Applications deployed in hybrid cloud environments need scale to help drive business growth and reduce costs. With license-included SQL Server 2019 on RHEL 8 including HA images, you can easily scale out your backend SQL Server infrastructure running on RHEL using on-demand, reserved, and spot AWS instances. 

With the RHEL HA add-on included, you can increase reliability and high availability by picking from multiple high-availability setups and recovery options and deploy your solution across multiple AWS availability zones where automatic failover can be triggered without user interruption. Additionally, when SQL Server on RHEL instances in AWS is configured in a read-scale replica fashion, you can also free up resources on the primary instance to handle more incoming write traffic by routing read-only data requests to be serviced by the replicas. 


SQL Server Availability Groups across different AWS Availability Zones

SQL Server Availability Groups across different AWS Availability Zones, running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux with High Availability

Accelerate SQL Server Performance

SQL Server on RHEL performance is something that we've paid close attention to, and we have done well on performance benchmarks that measure SQL Server on RHEL.

While there has been a lot of optimization in the past few years, multi-queue I/O scheduling is an important one when it comes to AWS. It reduces lock contention and maximizes I/O bandwidth when used with fast and high throughput storage block devices, such as Amazon EBS and local NVMe instance storage. 

For customers, the net result is lower read-write latency for critical SQL Server on RHEL workloads in AWS. RHEL also includes several performance tuning tools including SQL Server specific TuneD profiles that can be used in cloud environments. For more information, check out our Red Hat demo lab online to see the benefits of the TuneD profile for yourself.

Easier administration of SQL Server with RHEL

SQL Server database administrators who are new to the Linux command line can use the intuitive web console in RHEL to perform common administrator tasks. For example, you can use the RHEL web console to start, stop and check the status of the SQL Server. 

RHEL 8 includes Red Hat Insights, a managed service that continuously analyzes RHEL systems and workloads to identify vulnerabilities, security risks, and performance issues. Insights use advanced analytics and deep domain expertise to provide SQL Server-specific recommendations, prioritized based on potential impact to the business. Recommendations include detailed remediation guidance you can perform manually, or Insights can generate an Ansible Playbook to automate remediation.

Put simply, Red Hat Insights is about keeping RHEL systems operating as smoothly as possible whether they're on-prem or in the public cloud. To learn more about Red Hat Insights and how it works with SQL Server, read about how we added support to Insights for SQL Server.

Next steps

Together, Red Hat and Amazon offer an environment that can modernize your data infrastructure, and provide the necessary tools, and support, to help you innovate faster. We hope you give it a try, and here are some links that are handy -

About the author

Don Pinto is a Technical Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat focused on helping customers understand why Red Hat Enterprise Linux is an ideal operating system platform for modern application workloads. Pinto is passionate about data management and operating systems, having authored several technical blogs and white papers on various tech topics. Pinto holds a Masters degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.

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