Published On: Mon, Jul 17th, 2017

How Microsoft brought SQL Server to Linux


Back in 2016, when Microsoft announced that SQL Server would shortly run on Linux, a news came as a major surprise to users and pundits alike. Over a march of a final year, Microsoft’s support for Linux (and open source in general), has come into clearer concentration and a company’s goal now seems to be all about bringing a collection to wherever a users are.

The association currently launched a initial recover claimant of SQL Server 2017, that will be a initial chronicle to run on Windows, Linux and in Docker containers. The Docker enclosure alone has already seen some-more than 1 million pulls, so there can be no doubt that there is a lot of seductiveness in this new version. And while there are copiousness of new facilities and speed improvements in this new version, a fact that SQL Server 2017 supports Linux stays one of a many engaging aspects of this release.

Ahead of today’s announcement, we talked to Rohan Kumar, a ubiquitous manager of Microsoft’s Database Systems group, to get a bit some-more info about a story of this plan and how his group managed to move an intensely formidable square of program like SQL Server to Linux. Kumar, who has been during Microsoft for some-more than 18 years, remarkable that his group beheld many enterprises were starting to use SQL Server for their mission-critical workloads. But during a same time, they were also operative in churned environments that enclosed both Windows Server and Linux. For many of these businesses, not being means to run their database of choice on Linux became a attrition point.

“Talking to enterprises, it became transparent that doing this was necessary,” Kumar said. “We were forcing business to use Windows as their height of choice.” In another incarnation of Microsoft, that substantially would’ve been seen as something positive, yet a company’s plan currently is utterly different.

Kumar also remarkable that many enterprises were looking for an choice to Oracle’s database products. If we wish to run Linux and use a exclusive relational database with full craving support, we aren’t accurately marred for choice, after all.

As Kumar told me, this wasn’t a initial time his group looked during Linux support. “We had a integrate of discussions in a past where it wasn’t approved,” he told me. “It wasn’t something deliberate to be a critical approach for a business.” But 3 years ago — now with Satya Nadella during a tip of a association — a group motionless to representation this thought again.”The biggest startling partial was that we were expecting a whole lot of behind and forth. It was unequivocally startling to see how quick a decisions got made,” Kumar said.

With a preference made, a group faced a daunting task, though: how do we pier a tens of millions of lines of SQL Server’s formula to Linux? Kumar didn’t wish to make any concede in functionality either, so it possibly had to be a full core of SQL Server or zero during all (and for now, that excludes a graphical user interfaces and collection a association offers on Windows).

Sitting over a play of pho during a Vietnamese grill in Redmond, a group found a answer: Drawbridge. Drawbridge was a investigate plan that launched behind in 2011 that fundamentally supposing a enclosure with a tiny API aspect and a simple chronicle of Windows configured to well run a focus in a container. The thought here was fundamentally to build improved and some-more secure practical machines. The library OS afterwards executes a application, handles memory government and other critical functions, and integrates with a underlying handling system.

About dual years ago, a SQL Server group motionless to make this a core of a Linux efforts. “The care voiced a right volume of concern,” Kumar commented — and my theory is that there was indeed utterly a bit of courtesy given that Drawbridge was unequivocally most an initial project. But a SQL Server group took over a Drawbridge formula bottom and combined it into a SQL OS layer.

This OS covering was, in many ways, what done this plan possible. Because SQL Server’s needs always went over what Windows and Windows Server were means to offer, generally with courtesy to memory management, a group had already built many of a customary OS facilities into SQL Server’s OS covering already. Thanks to this, SQL Server in Drawbridge could conduct a possess memory, too, for example. The work on this was successful adequate that a group didn’t only build this for SQL Server on Linux yet indeed joined SQL OS and a work it did on Drawbridge into a new SQL Platform Abstraction Layer that now runs on Windows and Linux.

As a result, a SQL Server group can work from a singular formula bottom and doesn’t unequivocally have to worry about where a formula will run (and this includes Microsoft’s Azure platform).

SQL Server for Linux should strech ubiquitous accessibility after this year. Even today, a integrate of companies are already regulating it in production, and a Linux chronicle now runs as quick as a Windows chronicle (assuming allied hardware).

Looking over a final release, Kumar remarkable that a group would take a tighten demeanour during what to do next. While creation in a database space continues to accelerate, not all of Microsoft’s business wish annual (or even faster) updates for their mission-critical systems. Given that we’ve newly seen annual SQL Server releases with SQL Server 2016 and 2017, though, I’d be astounded if we didn’t hear about a initial SQL Server 2018 preview releases earlier rather than later.

Featured Image: David Papazian/Getty Images

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