Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it would soon be bringing SQL Server 2016 to Linux. Yesterday, Microsoft officially joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member, and now it appears that the company is looking to further strengthen its relationship with the community. To that end, it has announced the first public preview of SQL Server on Linux. The preview - which has also been released on Windows - brings performance improvements and updated versions of tools.
With the release of SQL Server, developers can build applications on Linux, Windows, Docker or Mac (using Docker) and deploy it to either of the first three platforms on-premises or in the cloud. Microsoft is also making it easier to install and get started with SQL Server. Users can find native Linux installations for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu Linux, with packages for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server coming soon as well.
Microsoft also promises "tremendous" performance improvements for SQL Server on Linux, saying that:
In-Memory OLTP today delivers up to 100x faster reads and 30x faster writes. SQL Server also owns multiple top TPC-E performance benchmarks for transaction processing and top TPC-H performance benchmarks for data warehousing, as well as top performance benchmarks with leading business applications. We also recently showcased SQL Server running more than one million R predictions per second. With the next release of SQL Server, we are bringing these leading innovations to Linux. On top of this performance, SQL Server also provides incredible efficiency, and removes the need to architect the scale of your application.
In terms of tooling on Linux, Microsoft has released updated versions of some SQL Server tools as well as the new SQL Server extension for Visual Studio Code. Developers can use this with Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DW as well. The company has also made native command-line tools available for SQL Server on Linux.
Microsoft has promised more improvements in the next version as well, but hasn't detailed them as of yet. It is important to note that back in March, the Redmond giant announced that over 8,000 companies have signed up to try SQL Server for Linux in its first week, which includes more than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies.