News: SQL Server for Linux will be available from middle of next year.
Microsoft has announced that its database software will be available for the Linux platform starting from mid-2017, as it takes the software fight to Oracle.
SQL Server, Microsoft’s software for managing corporate data, will now run on Linux and promises to offer a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premise and cloud.
Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group executive vice president Scott Guthrie said: "Bringing SQL Server to Linux is another way we are making our products and new innovations more accessible to a broader set of users and meeting them where they are.
"SQL Server on Linux will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution.
"One with mission-critical performance, industry-leading TCO, best-in-class security, and hybrid cloud innovations – like Stretch Database which lets customers access their data on-premises and in the cloud whenever they want at low cost – all built in."
The company has released a private preview version of SQL Server on Linux ahead of full release in the middle of next year.
By releasing SQL Server for Linux, a customisable open source operating system, Microsoft has opened up its database software to platforms outside Windows.
IDC enterprise infrastructure group vice president Al Gillen said: "This is an enormously important decision for Microsoft, allowing it to offer its well-known and trusted database to an expanded set of customers.
"By taking this key product to Linux Microsoft is proving its commitment to being a cross platform solution provider. This gives customers choice and reduces the concerns for lock-in. We would expect this will also accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server."
Previously, companies used to face difficulty in running Microsoft database software without buying Windows software to run it on a server.
In recent years, Microsoft has opened to up its software to run on other rival platforms like Apple iOS and Google’s Android as well as changing its approach towards Azure cloud computing.
The company has changed its approach as Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella looks to compete against Oracle which is the top vendor of database software.
Oracle leads the market with more than 40% market share while Microsoft is in second position with about 21.55% share, ahead of IBM.
Nadella told Bloomberg: "Windows Server, for all our success, we never were big in high-end computing.
"Now, we get an opportunity to go after a big market that we never participated in."
In 2015, both the companies struck a partnership to help customers embrace hybrid cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility deploying Red Hat solutions on Microsoft Azure.
Red Hat Products and Technologies president Paul Cormier said: "SQL Server’s proven enterprise experience and capabilities offer a valuable asset to enterprise Linux customers around the world.
"We believe our customers will welcome this news and are happy to see Microsoft further increasing its investment in Linux.
"As we build upon our deep hybrid cloud partnership, spanning not only Linux, but also middleware, and PaaS, we’re excited to now extend that collaboration to SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, bringing enterprise customers increased database choice."
Microsoft is preparing to make SQL Server 2016 generally available later this year, which will come with improved encryption for better security.
It will offer in-memory database support for every workload offering performance increases up to 30-100x.