In the world of heterogeneous data centers – having multiple operating systems running on different hardware platforms (and architectures) is the norm. Even traditional applications and databases are being migrated or abstracted using Java and other interpreted languages to minimize the impact on the end user, if they decide to run on a different platform.
Consider the common scenario where you have both Windows and Linux running in the data center and you need your Linux application to talk to Microsoft SQL Server and get some existing data from it. Your application would need to connect to the Windows server that is running the SQL Server database using one of many available APIs and request information.
While that may sound trivial, in reality you need to: know where that system is located, authenticate your application against it, and pay the penalty of traversing one or more networks to get the data back – all while the user is waiting. This, in fact, was “the way of the world” before Microsoft announced their intent to port MS SQL server to Linux in March of 2016. Today, however, you have a choice of having your applications connect to a Microsoft SQL Server that runs on either Windows or Linux
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