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As someone who works at MSFT in the Azure space I can tell you that the statement of "Who chooses to use Azure? Mostly MS shops" is inaccurate in my experience. Of all of the customers I've worked with, most of their architecture is at least 50% linux/OSS, typically more like 75%. I've honestly yet to see a customer moving to Azure who has more than 50% Windows based systems. Almost everyone I've worked with only uses Windows Server for their SQL Server services, outside of that it's RHEL, CentOS or Ubuntu.

With that being said, the typical appeal of Azure (and likely other cloud providers) are the PaaS services. Those typically do have Windows VMs sitting behind them, although we are starting to make Linux an option on most of those.

It seems likely that most people who use SQL Server were at least Microsoft shops at some time in the past, though; otherwise why are they using SQL Server?

Very few people start a project using SQL Server if they're not otherwise using MS stuff.

Usually, again this is just in my experience, it's typically tied to a single service that makes up a larger system. So they might have some data in MySQL that has an API fronting it that is managed by one team. Then they have another service that uses SQL Server fronted by another API and managed by a different team. Both of those APIs are used by something larger.

Sometimes it's because a long time ago the service was done by a whole different set of people and now some other group has inherited it and just doesn't want to port it to something else even though everything else they use is open source. These are typically the groups who go to the Azure SQL PaaS service because they don't want to manage something that they don't really care for.

There is a ton of fragmentation out there :)

We'll see this change as SQL Server on Linux matures.


Postgres is free and usually good enough. If you are going to pay, Oracle is generally better. The ground that mssql wins for a non-microsoft shop is verrrrry small.

Most people who have paid for Oracle would be perfectly well catered for by Postgres, it's true. Postgres gets you say the most-used 50% of Oracle for 0% of the cost. SQL Server gets you the most-used 90% of Oracle for 25% of the cost. The companies that need 100% of Oracle a very few and far between. Oracle's entire business model is based on people not realizing this...

SQL Server is way cheaper than Oracle and very fast. The features it has built-in now across all editions make it very compelling compared to Postgres, even if it's free.

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