Virtualization Technology News and Information
DH2i 2015 Predictions: The Year of Microsoft SQL Server Containers


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Don Boxley, Co-Founder and CEO of DH2i Company

2015 – The Year of Microsoft SQL Server Containers

It would be difficult to miss that the talk around containers has gained significant momentum over the past year.  Most of it has been spurred on by the much-hyped Silicon Valley startup, Docker, which is focused on Linux containers (i.e., Linux application virtualization technology).  Of course, containers aren't a new idea.  A simple Google search tells us that Docker isn't the only company working on containers, and that containers take many different forms, to solve many different problems.

In 2013, Oracle introduced a container for Oracle 12c, called Oracle Multitenant, designed to enable a multitenant container to hold many pluggable databases.  An existing database can simply be adopted with no application changes required.

So what about the Microsoft SQL Server world? In 2015, I predict that users will be able to likewise leverage container technology for the management of SQL Server.  The driving business motive is the promise of significant and measureable results for business agility.  Let's take a look at a couple agility definitions from the experts to see what that means:

"The ability of an organization to sense environmental change and respond efficiently and effectively to that change." Gartner

"The quality that allows an enterprise to embrace market and operational changes as a matter of routine." Forrester

So, what does business agility look like specifically for the SQL Server user?  And, what part can containers play?  In this regard, I must give credit to Oracle because many of the measurable results of Oracle containers re: business agility will be the same for SQL Server users, but without Oracle pricing (another prediction J).

Business agility for the SQL Server user is a function of five key attributes.  Let's take a closer look at each of them:

  • Rate of instance/server expansion: The ratio of instances to servers, regardless of type. When a new instance is deployed, a new server is required.
  • Speed of service deployment: This is all about DevOps, or more specifically, measuring the speed and reliability of continuous deployment by eliminating inconsistencies between development, test and production. How long does it take to move a workload (i.e., instance) from development to test to production?
  • Time to patch/upgrade: How long does it take to patch/upgrade your SQL Server environment? How much planned downtime is required to complete a patch cycle?
  • Service level attainment: Are you meeting your service level agreements? How much unplanned downtime are you experiencing per year? How long does it take to restore service after an outage event?
  • Technology refresh cycle-time: The question isn't if you'll move to a new platform, but when. The platform you're on today isn't the platform you were on seven years ago or the platform you'll be on in three years. How long does it take to complete a technology refresh? How long does it take to migrate services from an exiting technology platform to a new one? How long does it take to move workloads (i.e., instances) from one server to another?

In 2015, like an Oracle container, a SQL Server container will increase business agility and reduce IT costs by simplifying consolidation, service deployment, patch/upgrade management and technology refresh, while increasing availability and resiliency.  And, those critical business outcomes are what will make 2015 the year for SQL Server containers.


About the Author 

Don Boxley Jr is a Co-Founder and CEO of DH2i Company. This is Don's third technology startup. Prior to DH2i held senior marketing roles at Hewlett-Packard where he was instrumental in sales and marketing strategies that resulted in significant revenue growth in the Scale-out NAS business. Don spent more than 20 years in a range of management positions for leading technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard, CoCreate Software, Iomega, TapeWorks Data Storage Systems and Colorado Memory Systems.  

Don earned his MBA from Johnson School of Management, Cornell University.

Published Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:17 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:56 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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