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Special guest blogger: Ashish Nadkarni, Program Vice President, Worldwide Infrastructure Practice, IDC

Applications are crucial to the functioning of a modern enterprise. Firms that constantly evolve and update their application strategy are the ones that are successful at expanding their competitive differentiation in the digital economy. They infuse their applications portfolio with new-generation applications that run in the cloud, are delivered as microservices, leverage open-source technologies, and are increasingly (infrastructure) platform independent. During application design, the choice of database management systems (DBMS) and operating system environments (OSE) heavily influences the scalability and reliability of the overall stack.

Let us start with the choice of a proven SQL-based DBMS with modern in-memory capabilities for storing structured and semi-structured data. It enables the application to process transactions quickly and reliably. It enables the ingestion of huge and diverse data sets with low latency for large and/or real-time analytical tasks. Such databases support the ability to embed analytic queries in transaction processing, moving from online transaction processing (OLTP) to analytic transaction processing (ATP). And finally, databases make it easier for the application stack to meet security and compliance requirements such as PCI-DSS, GDPR and HIPAA. An example of a widely used SQL-based DBMS for this purpose is Microsoft SQL Server.

Next, let us look at the role played by the OSE. The choice of an appropriate OSE like Linux is essential for consolidating and modernizing the current-generation of applications, while also supporting the development and delivery of new-generation applications. The more versatile the OSE, the easier it is to repackage, replatform and refactor the entire application stack, including its data management and analytics components. A commercial Linux distribution such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux can accelerate database consolidation, application modernization, development and packaging initiatives. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is also Microsoft's reference Linux platform for SQL Server – which means existing Microsoft and Red Hat customers can take advantage of the consolidation benefits inherent in using Linux without compromising on functionality or service quality.

Linux, especially commercial Linux, has grown in the enterprise. This growth isn't surprising given the ability of Linux to enable deployment flexibility, development agility and vendor choice. Linux also helps IT organizations to achieve greater ROI through faster release cycles and meet enterprise-wide service level objectives.

Linux is also developer friendly. It enables IT to give developers more control over provisioning and orchestration of infrastructure resources. For example, running applications and databases in containers enables integration with development methodologies like DevOps and continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD). The use of a microservice delivery model creates a smaller and nimbler database footprint and allows for a higher density of database instances when compared with running the same environment in a virtual machine.

It is imperative for IT to select an appropriate DBMS and OSE for enterprise-wide consolidation in order to maximize the chances of a successful outcome. A tried and trusted DBMS platform when matched with an equally proven commercial Linux OS can amplify the value proposition of the entire application stack. It brings together industry-leading product development expertise, investments in cloud platforms and services, and the support and services reputation of the respective vendors.

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