Storagebod I imagine there was a sharp intake of breath as Microsoft announced SQL Server for Linux, quickly followed by a checking of dates.
Yet it makes perfect sense; it's a very sensible strategic move for Microsoft.
My question, and I know I’m not the only person asking this, is: what is the future of Windows in the data centre?
If SQL Server runs well on Linux, there are a vanishingly small number of workloads that I would want to run on Windows Server in a data centre. Yes, there are a lot of third party applicatons that run on Windows, and this is going to continue for many years, but I do really wonder if Microsoft’s heart is really in the Windows Server business.
Microsoft appear to have decided that their future is in cloud, not the enterprise data centre. I mean, it’s always been questionable whether anyone sane would run Exchange and now you don’t have to; Office 365 takes care of that for you.
A lot of people like Azure and, sure, Microsoft would prefer you to run your cloud apps in Azure, but if you want to run them elsewhere, they would like to still make money out of you. SQL Server on Linux will remove some of the friction for deployment in the cloud.
SQL Server running on Linux also allows Microsoft to compete with Oracle in those data centres where Windows is grudgingly tolerated. There are certainly those who will have you believe that SQL Server is not an enterprise product, but many of those comments have been driven by the stigma of Windows. I work with DBAs who do both; for most workloads, SQL Server and Oracle are equally good.
So what’s left for Microsoft to do?
Well, if they announce AD Services running on Linux, you’ll know that their heart is no longer in the Windows data centre.