Microsoft drops plans to support SQL Server on Windows Containers

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Microsoft has pulled the plug on its SQL Server on Windows Containers Beta program for the “foreseeable future.”

Announced in 2017, Microsoft announced the program to enable users to run SQL Server inside a Windows container atop their Azure cloud computing platform. The initiative has been in Beta testing ever since, and Microsoft has now announced it’ll be shuttering it for good essentially because of a lack of demand.

“Due to the existing ecosystem challenges and usage patterns we have decided to suspend the SQL Server on Windows Containers beta program for [the] foreseeable future,” Amit Khandelwal, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

Linux containers

Microsoft is deleting the two docker hub repositories for the SQL Server and tags within these repos with immediate effect, added Khandelwal, while indicating that the company doesn’t have any plans to resume the initiative.

Instead, Khandelwal suggests that users switch to running SQL Server on Linux Containers, which is already supported in production environments unlike its now-closed Windows counterpart.

While the SQL Server on Windows Containers never got out of beta, or amassed enough users for Microsoft to earmark resources to maintain the initiative, the project did find takers, some of whom urged Microsoft not to delete the docker hub repos.

“Could you please not delete those repos and images? That is going to break stuff. Folks have builds that depend on these images. At least give some warning rather than "immediate effect",” wrote David Gardiner, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional).

He accepted that while SQL Server on Linux is much easier to work with, “some legacy Windows apps that had to run on Server Core, having another Windows container with SQL in it is the only option.” 

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.