Linux and Microsoft: Frenemies to The End

Are You Ready for a Change of Heart?
Over the years, Microsoft has carved a solid niche in the IT infrastructure world. According to one estimate, 98 per cent of laptops and desktops in businesses run Windows. Windows servers are required to support Active Directory-based domains if you manage a shop that has all Windows users. Windows servers are required to run Windows-only apps that your business relies upon. These apps may also require Microsoft’s SQL Server. Microsoft Office is essential for daily tasks.
IT administrators around the world need to be licensed in order to legally run all this software. Microsoft’s success is similar to McDonald’s, which makes more money as a realty company than a hamburger business. It licenses its products to businesses, OEMs, and consumers. Their closed-source model is extremely lucrative, despite April fools jokes.
Based on their track record, it would be hard to imagine Microsoft being friendly with Linux, an Open Source platform. Working with a platform that is free and open-source means there’s no way to make money. Microsoft recently raised eyebrows by doing just that.
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The most shocking news was the announcement of a forthcoming release of SQL Server Linux. Your databases are no longer tied to a Microsoft OS. Instead, they can run on any Linux distribution of your choice. Microsoft is losing valuable server licensing income but they are also reaching a whole new market that they had previously struggled to reach. While SQL licenses are still expensive, the real deal is that Microsoft is moving away from the closed-door model where they prefer you to stay within the Windows ecosystem.
This arrangement may be problematic though. There are many open-source database options; why would you trade MySQL, PostgreSQL or MongoDB to get SQL Server? If you are a Windows fanboy/girl why would you trade one server license for a measly one and lose the GUI you love?
Pier Pressure
Ah, Docker. Docker is one of the most popular (or perhaps the most overused) IT buzzwords of the decade. It’s right up there with Big Data and Agile and IoT (Internet of Toast). Docker allows applications to be deployed within a container. There are no dependencies or prerequisites in the OS. Everything is included in the container along with the app. Everything is self-contained, so deployment, scaling, and portability are easy.
In its short existence, the open-source app was a favorite among Linux admins as well as developers. However, with the inclusion Docker in Windows Server 2016 (see in-progress courses), Microsoft developers and admins suddenly find themselves in a learning curve. The Nano Server installation is another new feature in Server 2016. It complements Docker well. The Nano Server installation removes the GUI and all other features, leaving only the OS core. This allows for a lightweight installation that is similar to a fresh Linux server. It can be installed Docker and received containers with minimal fuss.
These tools are familiar to Linux developers and admins, but they are a significant shift for Windows developers and admins. Microsoft shops need to adjust their mindsets in order to keep up with the trends emerging from the open-source world as the winds of change blow.
Penguins can Fly!
Another quick point to mention is Microsoft’s support for virtualization in heterogeneous environments using the on-premise HyperV h

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