Hacker News SQL Server on Linux

Ask HN: Would you run SQL Server on Linux?

Hacker News is one of the best sources for technical news out there. I check HN at least once a day during the week. It’s the primary cause of my browser having so many tabs that I can’t even see the favicons anymore.

Browser Tabs

People post content and if it gets enough votes it appears on the front page. This content is usually a link to an article or blog post but people also ask questions. With such a huge audience, it’s is a great place to ask a question so I thought I’d give it a try.

I asked:

Would you consider running SQL Server on Linux?

SQL Server 2017 has been announced and the big feature is cross platform.

I’m wondering how many Linux people out there would consider running SQL Server on Linux in a production environment.

If not, why not? I can guess some of the reasons people will site but I expect there are many more.

My question and the comments can be found here.

My reaction when SQL Server on Linux was first announced is here.

Roundup

I’ve aggregated the comments below (as of 2017-09-28). These are the views of the Hacker News readers and not my own, but I have annotated some of them. Please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments below or on the Hacker News question.

Reasons for

No need for Windows Licensing.

  • It’s still just a drop in the ocean compared to SQL Server licensing

It’s cheaper than Oracle.

I Don’t need a Windows Fail-over Cluster.

The tools for SQL Server are better than those available for Oracle and Postgres.

Postgres is missing batched triggers.

  • I didn’t know Postgres was lacking here. Batched triggers achieve much better performance than row-by-row triggers when dealing with large amounts of data. You also have the option to iterate through the batch of inserted rows with the virtual INSERTED/UPDATED/DELETED system tables.

You want to run an application that requires SQL Server, but don’t want to run Windows.

SQL Server has better HA solutions than Postgres.

If the client or user required SQL Server.

Running it inside containers for CI pipelines.

Reasons Against

Microsoft support will be more familiar with Windows.

  • Although manigandham argues “Microsoft is very comfortable with Linux and uses a lot internally already. They’re also partners with Redhat which is what most enterprises will use anyway.”

Why wouldn’t I use Postgres for free?

  • There is a fair bit of talk about how Postgres is free and at least comparable to SQL Server in features and performance.

T-SQL is poor from a developers point of view.

  • No arrays.

It’s not open source.

Skills of existing staff are mainly rooted in Windows.

I could just use Azure SQLDB if I didn’t want to support the Windows OS.

Postgres has much better documentation.

  • Well BOL has got a lot better over the years and I think that it’s pretty good these days, but I’m glad people are considering this kind of thing.

About the author

James Anderson

I'm a freelance SQL Server DBA in Southampton, UK. Performance tuning code and improving development processes are what I love to do for work. Outside of work, I live to travel to as many places as possible with my wife Sarah.

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James Anderson SQL Server DBA

Hi, I'm James Anderson. When I'm not blogging about SQL Server, I do this.

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