REDMON, WA. – Microsoft Corporation will soon offer its database software SQL Server to companies using Linux servers, Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise group Scott Guthrie announced Tuesday in a blog post.
The company will bring the server’s core capabilities and other components will depend on feedback and customer demand. About a quarter of all servers currently running in Microsoft’s Azure cloud service are powered by Linux, but there’s not much Microsoft software users can run on those Linux servers. Well, that’s going to change in a while.
A very short list of Microsoft applications is running on Linux today. They were acquired from other firms like Skype, Revolution R Enterprise, and Wunderlist. Although Microsoft is not going to open source SQL Server’s code, it is a huge move for the company to make it runnable on Linux.
Love for Linux has been getting stronger
Microsoft’s love for Linux emerged in 2009 and has since evolved. Back in 2001, former CEO Steve Ballmer by that time described Linux as a “cancer”. Six years later, the company threatened to sue Linux companies like Red Hat for patent infringement.
But as open source became popular among corporations and governments over the years, Microsoft changed its perspective and decided to get involved in a partnership with Red Hat in 2009 in order to ensure compatibility between products of the two companies. In 2012, it announced it would be supporting Linux on Azure and is now using the open source operating system to even run the cloud service.
However, Microsoft used to focus its efforts on offering open source software that already ran on Linux to Windows users, including the programming platform Node.js, the data crunching platform Hadoop and the code management tool Git. Even if it isn’t open sourcing the underlying software, the new move of allowing users to run SQL Server on Linux devices represents another step in this direction.
Will Linux users want to run SQL Server?
It is yet to see whether users are actually willing to run SQL Server on Linux. There are other database software and open source options that are far more popular than Microsoft’s, such as Oracle’s, MySQL and PostgreSQL, which have become widely used by Linux users.
Still, companies are likely to pay for Microsoft SQL Server licenses once it becomes available on Linux since they’ll be able to avoid having to pay for a Windows Server license plus an SQL Server license.