DH2i Extends SQL Server Platform to Containers

DH2i has made generally available a DxEnterprise (DxE) for Containers offering that employs micro-tunnel technology the company created to enable high availability between instances of Microsoft SQL Server databases running in the same cloud or across a hybrid cloud computing environment.

Don Boxley, DH2i CEO, says as organizations start to deploy stateful containerized applications on top of a Microsoft SQL database, the need to ensure high availability becomes a more pressing concern.

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DxEnterprise (DxE) for Containers provides that capability by automating the setup of the networking tunnels required for cluster communication and replication across availability groups (AGs) without requiring IT teams to manually open ports to provision a virtual private network (VPN). Those AGs can also include Kubernetes clusters running Microsoft SQL Server databases deployed on Kubernetes clusters, notes Boxley.

Ultimately, Boxley says, the goal is to enable IT teams that have deployed a Microsoft SQL Server database to achieve instant recovery time objectives (RTOs) in the event a database becomes unavailable for any reason. IT teams can mix and match instances of Microsoft SQL Server running on Windows or Linux platforms as they see fit regardless of whether they are deployed on virtual machines, bare-metal servers or in the cloud, adds Boxley.

DH2i is also making available a free developer edition of DxEnterprise (DxE) for Containers for use in non-production environments.

The number of stateful container applications deployed in production environments has been steadily increasing as more IT teams decide they would prefer to unify compute and storage management in a Kubernetes environment versus deploying a stateless application that eventually stores data on an external storage system often managed by a dedicated storage administrator.

Naturally, there are a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a database on which to deploy a stateful application. IT teams, however, tend to prefer databases that address enterprise-class requirements such as high availability, either via the tools provided by the vendor or a third-party partner. Microsoft, which has made its database available on both Windows and Linux platforms for several years now, is already a widely deployed relational database in those environments.

At this juncture, there are a lot more containerized applications running on Linux than on Windows platforms. However, ever since containers were made available on Windows, the number of containerized applications running on Windows has steadily increased. It may be some time before Windows catches up to Linux in terms of the number of containerized applications deployed, but it’s apparent the gap is narrowing rapidly.

In the meantime, it’s still not clear what database will be the preferred way to host stateful containerized applications in production environments. Developers tend to prefer to build applications using open source software for which they don’t have to get permission from a central IT team. It’s not common, however, for those IT teams to re-platform an application to limit the number of databases that need to be supported in a production environment.

Regardless of what database is employed in a containerized application environment, one thing that is certain: there will soon be a lot more of them.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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