It’s been five years since Microsoft first brought SQL Server to Linux. In that time, Linux and containers have moved from being "new stuff," to becoming standard operating environments for modern SQL Server workloads. Nowhere was this more visible than at the recent Data Platform Summit (DPS) 2022, a free conference covering SQL Server and Azure Data topics, where Red Hat was the Platinum sponsor.
DPS is a global virtual event with specific days aligned with India, Australia/New Zealand, Asia Pacific and Americas and Europe/Middle East/Africa time zones. This event started in-person in India in 2015 and has gone on to become one of the world's largest conferences relating to SQL Server.
I had the good fortune to be asked to record Red Hat’s session for this event. My talk, Automating Deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Microsoft SQL Server, provided an overview of the overlap between products from Red Hat and Microsoft.
I also discussed the technical advantages of running SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), introduced the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and offered up demos (from Red Hat Solution Architect Johan Odell and myself) that showed how to automate SQL Server deployment as well as the deployment of Always On availability groups managed with the Red Hat High Availability Add-on. In the end, I got to speak with many of the Database Administrators (DBAs) who attended the conference and I took four things away from my conversations:
First, many of the DBAs I spoke to are already using SQL Server on Linux containers to test database modifications and optimizations.
Second, several DBAs were not aware of functionality that was introduced with SQL Server 2019 for Linux, let alone all the exciting bits that are coming with SQL Server 2022 (now in preview for RHEL 8). Upon hearing about these features, they indicated that they would be looking to move from using SQL Server for development and testing to moving it into production workloads.
Third, DBAs I spoke to are indeed moving legacy SQL Server production workloads to Linux, but some also indicated they were able to move other databases they were using on Linux or UNIX to SQL Server on RHEL (those with less attractive licensing, or in some cases, legacy databases that lacked key innovations).
Fourth, Red Hat continues to be a leader for SQL Server on Linux deployments in production environments. About two thirds of the DBAs I spoke with who were running SQL Server on Linux were running it on RHEL.
Now that the conference has ended, many of the session recordings will be made available to the general public. You can find last year’s recordings, including my own session, Monitoring SQL Server on Linux performance with Performance Co-Pilot and Grafana, here.
For more information on Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Microsoft SQL Server use case visit: Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Microsoft SQL Server.
About the author
Louis Imershein is a Product Manager at Red Hat focussed on Microsoft SQL Server and database workloads. He is responsible for working with Microsoft and Red Hat engineering to ensure that SQL Server performance, management, and security is optimized for Red Hat platforms. For more than 30 years, Louis has worked in technical support, engineering, software architecture, and product management on a wide range of OS, management, security, and storage software projects. Louis joined Red Hat as part of the acquisition of Permabit Technology Corporation, where he was VP of Product.