SQL Server 2017 on Linux boosts efficiency for analytics firm

SQL Server 2017 on Linux boosts efficiency for analytics firm

Microsoft has doubled down on its love for open source by bringing SQL Server 2017 to Linux, and it seems this support can help lighten the load for enterprises that already have in-house Linux expertise but also a need for SQL’s functionality.

While it’s not available until later this year, an early adopter has found a significant upside to the new support for Linux.

dv01, a software firm that makes a reporting and analytics platform to give financial institutions insight into consumer lending, has jumped the line and is running SQL Server 2017 on Linux rather than Windows for some of its workloads.

That gives the company needed SQL features that help reduce data storage requirements, cut management time and helped simplify its DevOps work, the company’s Vice President of Engineering Dean Chen tells Microsoft.

An added benefit is that the company – a Linux shop – doesn’t have to support two operating systems. “It will enable us to improve our developer process flow, since a lot of our engineers are still on Macs,” Chen says.

The company had already adopted SQL Server 2016, which doesn’t run on Linux. In March, dv01 tested SQL Server 2017 on its largest datasets, Microsoft says.

“The biggest benefit for us was that we were able to switch SQL Server to Linux and not have degradation in other areas,” Chen says. This month it shifted SQL Server 2017 on Docker in Linux to its production network.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced SQL support for Linux last spring, it came as a shocking move because of the competition that Linux represents to Microsoft. The company plans to have SQL Server available for Linux by the middle of this year, Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie said then. The goal is to provide a consistent data platform across both Windows and Linux.

SQL Server for Linux will carry key features that users expect from the server software, including a Stretch Database service that lets administrators send data from on-premises servers to the Azure cloud for storage while keeping it accessible for applications that query a particular database table.

“This is an enormously important decision for Microsoft, allowing it to offer its well-known and trusted database to an expanded set of customers,” IDC analyst Al Gillen said at the time. “By taking this key product to Linux, Microsoft is proving its commitment to being a cross-platform solution provider.”