So, what’s with this whole SQL Server on Linux thing?

Published On: 2017-10-09By:

I’ll be honest, when I first learned about SQL Server on Linux, I didn’t get it.  It took like an hour for it to make sense to me.  After a week of talking to customers, a lot of whom were super interested in deploying SQL Server on Linux or SQL Server in Docker it just makes even more sense to me.

Let’s run down the various use cases, then let’s dive into each one and break them down.

  • LAMP stack developers
  • Small SQL Instances for 3rd party apps
  • Shops which are primarily Linux shops today and want/need to deploy SQL Server
  • Shops who want to replace Oracle, MySQL, and/or PostgreSQL

Let’s explore each of these a little more, shall we?

LAMP stack developers

There’s LOTS of developers out there that when they start a new project they fire up new containers and grab PHP, a database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.) and go to town programming away.  Microsoft SQL Server being available for Linux and having it being just a quick docker download (or yum install) away gives them the option of having a full enterprise class database behind their application with a quick, easy 2 minute config that’s like 3 questions, for the same cost in development.  And when they go to deploy their application to their users (customers) they have the confidence of telling them that the database they they’ve selected is Microsoft SQL Server, supported by a multi-billion-dollar company which they are probably used to dealing with already.

The developer can build their application with confidence knowing that the programming surface is identical between the Linux and Windows versions of the product so they can expect it to react exactly the same no matter if the customer installs it on RedHat, Ubuntu, Docker, or Windows.

Small SQL Instances for 3rd Party Apps

An interesting potential workload that a car manufacture brought up while I was working the booth at the Microsoft Ignite conference, was small database applications like 3rd party applications, or even 1st party applications but which are typically single core VMs with small memory footprints. Today they take up a large percentage of the VMware farm, and what did I think of moving these into a Linux host running Docker containers and running really small containers (assuming that the CPU and memory were fine).  My response, sounds like a great use of the docker deployment of SQL Server on Linux.

The docker deployment is going to give you a really thin, really lightweight deployment option as you don’t have to worry about deploying the OS within the VM.  In a large host running dozens of containers this could led to some major resource savings.

Linux Shops

There are lots of companies which are primarily Linux and don’t want to run or manage Windows servers for one reason or another, but they often have to because they need to support SQL Server to support either line of business applications or back office business applications such as HR applications or payroll applications, even if those applications are Java applications running on Linux servers.

Now those companies can toss their Windows servers and run Linux OSes that they are used to running and still have the SQL Server database that they need to run their applications.  The power to do what you need to do, to run your organization and the flexibility to do it the way that you want to do it without any vendor lock in. It’s like Microsoft has been listening to the Linux community or something (no they aren’t going to open source SQL Server, stop asking).

Platform Replacement

I was shocked the number of people who came to the booth, knowing that I do not work for Microsoft, telling me that this gives them the ability to replace Oracle, MySQL or PostgreSQL in their shops. Most of these companies were primary Linux (or all Linux) server OS shops so suddenly having the flexibility to get out from under the thumb of their Oracle sales rep while staying on their server OS platform of choice, is huge. One customer came up and said that even after the cost of converting their applications from Oracle to SQL Server (which was not going to be cheap), and the cost of paying for the SQL Server licenses, the annual savings was still in the millions because of the Oracle licensing costs.  I’m guessing that the Oracle sales guy really isn’t going to like that phone call, but his car is nice enough already.

Given that it’s only been out for a few days, that’s good start.


The post So, what’s with this whole SQL Server on Linux thing? appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

What the New SQL Patching Cycles Actually Mean to You

Published On: 2017-10-02By:
Servicing Sign

At Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft announced that they are changing the patching cycle for SQL Server. SQL Server will no longer release Service Packs for SQL Server 2017, instead of releasing only CUs and releasing them much more often.  CUs will be released monthly for the first 12 months of a new release, then quarterly after that. Now some people out there in blogger world have gotten cranky about this.  But this new patching model is a good thing.  The scariness to CUs for years has been that little disclaimer attached to them, stating that they should only be installed when you are impacted by an issue that the CU specifically fixes.  This disclaimer was there because in the dark ages of SQL Server (SQL 2005 or so) CUs weren’t as well tested as Service Packs, they just couldn’t be because the automation wasn’t there to do so. This warning was recently (in the last year or so) removed--CUs go through the full testing cycle that SPs and RTM releases do. Now the automation is there to do the testing. Because of this, we don’t need Service Packs, because every CU is now effectively a Service Pack.  The fixes are going to be coming out faster. This doesn’t mean that there are more bugs that need to be addressed, or that the software is more unstable or any of the other conspiracy theory nonsense that I’ve read about this.  It simply means that along with the faster release cycle that we saw for SQL Server 2017, Microsoft has accelerated the release cycle for patches as well. This resembles Azure SQL Database--doesn’t it? (hint, hint) This all means that if there is a bug in the software that impacts our systems that we have to wait for, this means that we will get the patch faster than we’ve ever gotten the patch before. And without having to open a support ticket and get a hotfix patch. We get this via a fully supported CU patch through a normally supported servicing release.  This sounds like a good thing to me. Does this mean that you need to do more patching of SQL Server? Maybe.  If you want every possible patch installed to get every possible fix, then yes. But you probably aren’t hitting every possible bug that’s fixed by every possible CU that comes out. If you are you are either pushing the product harder than 99.9% of the users out there, or you are one unlucky shop. I’d recommend patching SQL as often as you can. If you can patch each month for that first 12 months, excellent. If you can’t get a monthly maintenance window to get those CUs installed, then shoot for every other month.  If you aren’t being currently affected by an issue that’s being resolved by a patch, then waiting for an extra month won’t kill you, and if you are, then getting the patch faster than you would have gotten it under the old servicing model and getting the maintenance window to get it deployed really shouldn’t be that big of a deal. This is best time to build some automation into your patching solution. Denny The post What the new SQL patching cycles actually mean to you appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

PASS Summit Speaker Idol Lineup Change

Published On: By:

ExpertThis year the PASS Summit speaker idol has been full of challenges.  Usually, self-imposed because of my insane travel schedule this time of year as I ended up doing most of the organizing from the other side of the planet (cry me a river, I know).

Anyway, self pityisn’t the point of this post.  This post is because PASS has decided that they are going to move William Wolf from backup speaker to  selected speaker.  While I congraduate Bill this leaves me with an opening in my lineup. Fortunetly I have plans to account for this.  So the new contestant in the second slot on Friday is Joseph Barth.

The lineup for Speaker Idol now looks like this.

Your Wednesday lineup for speaker idol is:

  • Jim Donahoe
  • Brian Carrig
  • Jonathan Stewart
  • Robert Volk

Your Thursday lineup for Speaker Idol is:

  • Javier Villegas
  • Eric Peterson
  • Ed Watson
  • Dennes Torres

Your Friday lineup for Speaker Idol is:

  • Daniel de Sousa
  • Joseph Barth
  • Tzahi Hakikat
  • Simon Whiteley

See everyone at the PASS Summit.


The post PASS Summit Speaker Idol Lineup Change appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

Just One Month Until Denny’s Azure PreCon

Published On: 2017-09-25By:
Time is ticking to sign up for the Azure precon

PASS Summit is just a month away. That means there’s only just under a month left to get signed up for Denny’s Azure precon. You might be wondering why you want to take a full day session on Azure infrastructure. And that’s an excellent question. The answer is quite simple. Azure is a massive platform, with a huge number of moving parts which are constantly changing. In this session, we aren’t going to be spending a lot of time on our good friend SQL Server (or SQL DB for that matter) we’ll be focusing on the rest of the Azure platform.
This includes components such as:

  • Storage
  • networking
  • Azure AD
  • Subscriptions (Billing)
  • VMs in General
  • Resource Manager
  • Classic Deployments (like 2 minutes tops)
  • Open Source
  • Scale Sets
  • RBAC (now called IAM)
  • Monitoring
  • Security
  • Compute

If you have services in Azure today, if you are going to be moving services to Microsoft Azure in the near future, or you just want to get a better understanding of how things work in the Azure cloud, this is the session for you.  At this end of this session, you’ll walk away with a good understanding of how Azure components should be configured, and how your services should be configured within the Azure platform to get the best performance and availability from the platform and your solutions.

You may have seen Joey and I traveling around India in 2016. We were actually delivering content similar to this (this is much newer obviously as Azure has changed a LOT in 12 months) to various customers and partners. If you’re using other consultants to help you with your Azure implementation there’s a decent chance that they’ve taken this training.

Not registered, for PASS? That’s an easy problem to solve. Go register.  Already registered for PASS and need to add the precon to your

Already registered for PASS and need to add the precon to your registration?  No problem, you just need to email PASS to add it to your registration.

Either way, nice and easy.  Using Azure, take the precon. You’ll thank me.

The post Just One Month Until Denny’s Azure PreCon appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

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