Database provisioning and containers

You might have heard of the concept of containers, at least in passing – or maybe you’re already using them widely in both dev/test and production. Containers are a great way to isolate your application code from the environment it’s running in, and they offer a range of benefits from easier deployments and scaling in production to making it easy to run your dependencies during development without having to install and maintain them.

Microsoft has already made SQL Server available in both Windows and Linux containers which you can use to spin up isolated instances. But if you’ve tried running a database server in a container, you’ve probably come across the need to get your own databases working inside it, which isn’t quite as simple as docker run. Or perhaps you’d like to try running dev/test instances inside containers, but aren’t sure how to get started.

I’m a technical lead working on SQL Provision, and I’m currently leading a research project on database provisioning and containers with a focus on SQL Server. If you work with SQL Server, I’d love to talk to you about how you’re using (or thinking of using) containers, how you see databases fitting into your workflows involving them, and any challenges you’ve hit so far. Even if you haven’t started to use containers for real yet, it would still be great to find out where you are and what you’d like to see in the future.

If you’re interested in being involved with Redgate’s research into containers, please email us.