In recent years, Microsoft has been expanding its portfolio of offerings that are either compatible with or ported to the Linux operating system. For example, Microsoft released the first version of its SQL Server RDBMS that was commercially available on Linux in November 2016. More recently, with its SQL Server 2017 release, Microsoft delivered SQL Server on Docker containers. The next generation of SQL Server for Linux containers is in development, as part of SQL Server 2019, with release scheduled for the fall of 2019.
Microsoft is currently developing SQL Server implementations of Linux containers for both Linux and Window hosts as well as Windows containers for Windows. The supported features and road maps for these implementations vary, so carefully verify whether a product will meet your requirements. For this white paper, we worked exclusively with SQL Server containers for Linux. We recommend that you check with Dell EMC to ensure that the latest certified CSI plug-ins are used in your Kubernetes environment.
Microsoft first introduced support for containerized Linux images in SQL Server 2017. According to Microsoft, one of the primary use cases for customers who are adopting SQL Server containers is for local dev/test in DevOps pipelines, with deployment handled by Kubernetes. SQL Server in containers offers many advantages for DevOps because of its consistent, isolated, and reliable behavior across environments, ease of use, and ease of starting and stopping. Applications can be built on top of SQL Server containers and run without being affected by the rest of the environment. This isolation makes SQL Server in containers ideal for test deployment scenarios as well as DevOps processes.