It's time to start planning for SQL Server on Linux

You can treat SQL Server on Linux as a new deployment option, not a whole new database. That means you can choose the operating system that best fits your project

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Bringing SQL Server to Linux is one of the bigger steps in Microsoft’s plan to help developers build any app for (and from) any platform. And despite the fact that it was only announced in spring 2016, you shouldn’t think of SQL Server on Linux as being a subset of the full Windows offering, says Rohan Kumar, general manager of the Microsoft database systems group.

“It’s the same SQL Server product,” he tells CIO.com. “We have one SQL Server product, and Windows and Linux are your deployment choices.”

That means you’ll get significant features from SQL Server, from availability groups and Active Directory Authentication to dynamic data masking, row level security and transparent data encryption, plus Azure integrations like stretch database and the always encrypted option. Not all those features are guaranteed to be in the first release of SQL Server on Linux, Kumar cautions. “But in the long term, it’s just the same database. If you want stretch database or backup or replica, you go for it.”

The areas where SQL Server on Linux will differ the most from the Windows Server version are where features depend on the operating system itself. If you use clustering for high availability and disaster recovery (DR), that depends on Windows Server Failover Clustering. On Linux, the way you do high availability and DR differs even between RedHat, Ubuntu and SuSE, and SQL Server on Linux will use open source tools like Pacemaker for clustering.

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