A SQL Server tale of two cities

No one disputes that data is critical to the lifeblood of business, applications, and the computer industry. SQL Server sits at the forefront of any discussion about data these days. So it’s no coincidence that SQL Server is seen, heard, and felt at major industry events. As a leader in the Azure Data SQL Server team, I found myself speaking and presenting at two big recent events with two of our major partners DELL and Red Hat. First, at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas and then the next week at the Red Hat Summit in Boston. While each event has its own focus, we were able to present how SQL Server has become a modern data platform across these two audiences, giving our customers choice with compatibility.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – Las Vegas

This is the first time the SQL Server engineering team has presented and met with customers at Dell Technologies World. What was  once a small event in Austin, Texas years ago, Dell Technologies World has grown to 15,000 attendees with everything from servers, storage, hybrid, IoT Edge, data, machine learning, and more. Dell is an important partner for Microsoft and the SQL Server team. Dell servers have always been a popular choice to run SQL Server workloads, including large-scale enterprise applications. Given many of these customers run SQL Server on Windows Server, showcasing the new capabilities of SQL Server 2019 with Windows Server 2019 makes sense. In fact, Windows Server 2008/R2 and SQL Server 2008/R2 are both hitting their end of support cycles in January 2020 and July 2019 respectively.

I had the honor of presenting with Jeff Woolsey on this topic. Jeff talked about some great migration tools and options for using Windows Admin Center and the power of Azure Stack HCI with Windows Server 2019. I talked about the incredible new features of SQL Server 2019 including big data clusters, data virtualization, intelligent query processing, and in-memory database. I also described tools for migration including Azure Site Recovery, Data Migration Assistant, Database Experimentation Assistant, and Query Tuning Assistant. Download a version of our presentation, Modernizing Your Windows Server & SQL Server Data Center Workloads, to learn more.

We also had the incredible opportunity to be interviewed at theCube where we both talked about Windows Server 2019, SQL Server 2019, and the Dell partnership. theCube has a huge following. Watch our interview below to learn more.

The announcement at Dell World by our CEO Satya Nadella of Azure VMWare Solutions garnered huge interest at the event and we look forward to seeing our customers run SQL Server in this new cloud powered platform.

Red Hat Summit 2019 – Boston

Just a few days later I found myself travelling across the US to the iconic city of Boston for the annual Red Hat Summit. Perhaps you remember last year when I blogged about the SQL Server experience at the Red Hat Summit 2018 in San Francisco. As I’ve seen the interest in SQL Server on Linux growing, I didn’t know what to expect at the summit this year. But going in, I knew we were no longer the “new kids on the block.” I had been asked to lead a hands-on lab for SQL Server 2019 on OpenShift. Our lab went very well with 50 lab attendees each deploying and exploring SQL Server 2019 on their own OpenShift cluster! You can try out the labs on your cluster by going to the sqlworkshops GitHub.

But it didn’t stop there. Red Hat approached us to see if SQL Server could be featured in their Day 2 keynote showing the ever-growing popular operator framework. Red Hat demonstrated an operator updating hundreds of SQL Server instances running on OpenShift with almost no downtime for the application. Watch the video to see the SQL demo which starts at about 1:10 into the keynote.

Of course, this comes on top of the fact that our CEO Satya Nadella was on stage for the Day 1 keynote talking about the Microsoft and Red Hat relationship. Both Azure and SQL Server are a big part of it and he mentions SQL Server in this video of the Day 1 keynote at around 1:48 into it.

There’s more – Our booth was bigger than ever before with a dedicated SQL Server station. I had heard my book, Pro SQL Server on Linux by Apress Media, would be available but had no idea we would be giving away 100 copies. Needless to say I got some writer’s cramp from signing many of them. It was honoring and humbling to see the interest in SQL Server and the book.

We didn’t stop there. We had theater sessions in the HPE booth and Red Hat booth area. My colleague Buck Woody presented SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters. He amazed the crowd as a Microsoft employee demonstrated SQL Server Big Data Clusters on an OpenShift Cluster running SQL Server and Hadoop Linux containers using Notebooks from Azure Data Studio on his MacBook. What?! That’s what the audience said.

We topped off the conference with a joint presentation together with Red Hat of SQL Server with the newly announced Red Hat Linux Enterprise 8 version. We have worked closely with Red Hat to improve I/O performance on XFS file systems and demonstrated a major performance boost with SQL Server on RHEL 8. You can read about the details of our contribution with Red Hat to the Linux Kernel in this blog post.

You can read all of the announcements about the Microsoft and Red Hat Azure SQL Server work in this blog post to learn more.

SQL Server is everywhere

It was a fast paced two weeks of seeing SQL Server in two amazing, yet completely different cities and events across many different audiences. And all of this while our big Microsoft Build 2019 event was happening where we announced Azure SQL Database Edge.

SQL Server continues to be a leading industry data platform whether it’s running in your data center, public clouds, high-end scalable servers, containers, Kubernetes clusters, or even on the IoT Edge. SQL Server is everywhere you need it providing choice with compatibility.

Learn more about SQL Server 2019.

Try out our free SQL Server training workshops.

And read the incredible story about Azure SQL Database Edge.