Automating Microsoft SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Executive summary: SQL Server with Red Hat platforms

Institutions generate an almost incomprehensible amount of data every day—data critical to running their business processes. Running Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® for Microsoft SQL Server has numerous cost, performance, and security advantages. By deploying this solution with Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform, organizations can reduce common and error-prone SQL Server configuration management tasks to improve reliability and improve IT productivity.

Yes, SQL Server runs on Linux

As SQL Server has evolved over the past three decades, performance and security demands have increased equally—and at times exponentially. Organizations today manage petabytes of data spread across datacenters, cloud infrastructure, and at the edge of the network with Internet of Things (IoT) devices collecting and computing real-time data. 

SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a common foundation for almost any project type. Together, SQL Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux provide organizations with advanced tools for database consolidation, application modernization and development, and support for DevOps, microservices, and containerized deployments. 

Benefits of running SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Combining SQL Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux helps organizations to deploy one standardized operating system and data platform across multiple installation types, including on-premise, public and hybrid cloud, and edge computing environments.

  • Improves performance. Performance bottlenecks become increasingly challenging to identify as organizations generate and process vast amounts of data across on-premise and cloud infrastructure. SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux has continually shown superior performance across industry-leading benchmarks. You can automatically tune SQL Server on deployment, monitor performance trends, and identify and remediate bottlenecks.
  • Reduces operational costs. IT budgets and time commitments can quickly balloon with managing applications and workloads between on-premise and cloud environments. Automating SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Ansible Automation Platform can help reduce these costs by simplifying the setup, provisioning, deployment, and management of SQL Server in hybrid environments.
  • Consolidates workloads on a standard operating system. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SQL Server provide a solid, flexible foundation for workloads of all sizes and performance requirements. The next generation of workloads and solutions can be deployed with standardized, consistent configuration. 

  • Avoids vendor lock-in. Every organization must avoid single points of failure in any deployment or infrastructure. Choosing a commercial Linux distribution such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides IT and system administrators with an operating system to avoid relying on a single vendor for operating system and data platform tools. 

  • Prepares your infrastructure for the future. Research shows that 21% of all SQL Server data now resides in a cloud environment3, and that number will increase to 40% within the next one to two years. Automating the management of SQL Server instances will be crucial in supporting infrastructure scale as the move to cloud environments continues. 

Why use Ansible Automation Platform for SQL Server workloads

The performance, stability, and reliability of SQL Server is critical, but manually deploying and managing the database is complex, time-consuming, and error-prone. The introduction of even minor inconsistencies over time can lead to increased security risks, potential downtime, and loss of productivity. 

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform minimizes these impacts and eliminates repetitive tasks, allowing database administrators and other teams to focus on more strategic work. With Ansible Automation Platform, you can: 

  • Simplify management of SQL Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. System roles provide a stable, consistent configuration interface to automate and manage both your operating system and your database in the form of Ansible Content Collections. These collections act as predictable, repeatable templates for deploying and maintaining platforms such as SQL Server. 
  • Deploy SQL Server in just minutes. With adequate system resources and network bandwidth, you can expect to complete SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux  installations in under 60 seconds. You can also configure and tune SQL Server automatically for optimal performance while ensuring consistency across on-premise, cloud, or edge systems. 
  • Keep your PowerShell scripts and skills. Ansible is a powerful configuration management and orchestration tool for installing and executing PowerShell scripts on Linux. IT teams more familiar with PowerShell find that Ansible can help bridge the skills gap when it comes to running SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 
  • Enable, tune, and optimize security and storage. Tuning your storage layer with Ansible can help you boost performance, speed, and reliability. You can also secure connections by enabling and enforcing transportation layer security (TLS) encryption and installing certificates and keys. 

Monitor and remediate SQL Server performance

Red Hat Insights is included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ansible Automation Platform, and Insights uses predictive analytics and deep domain expertise to assess your environment and identify and prioritize operational and security risks. 

To prevent time wasted on researching and troubleshooting issues, Red Hat Insights provides the recommended steps to achieve an optimal configuration state—and even helps to produce Ansible Playbooks to correct issues. 

Automating workloads beyond SQL Server 

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is a single, robust platform that assumes the work of disparate solutions to help you grow and scale your automation into other use cases including infrastructure, networking, security, and cloud computing. You can bring your IT operations, database, and developer teams together using a shared language and a common, easy-to-learn framework.  

Want to learn more about automating SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

  1. Red Hat case study, “Columbian energy company uses Red Hat for SQL servers,” 14 Sept. 2020.

  2.  IDC business value executive summary, sponsored by Red Hat, “The Business Value of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform,”  Doc. #US47989320, Oct. 2021.

  3. Unisphere Research, sponsored by Red Hat. “Survey says RHEL leads for Microsoft SQL Server on Linux deployments.” April 2021. 

Icon-Red_Hat-Media_and_documents-Quotemark_Open-B-Red-RGB We’ve seen that running our Microsoft server solution on Linux is an excellent choice, both on-premise and in the cloud.

Leonel Alfonso Barrios Baños

Digital Services Analyst, XM [1]

Enterprises using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform2  see:

667% five-year return on investment (ROI)

30% more efficient IT infrastructure management

76% reduction in unplanned downtime