The benefits of running Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu Pro

The benefits of running Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu Pro

Since November 2021, Canonical and Microsoft have been offering a jointly supported Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu Pro solution. With this offering, you can set up an optimised configuration of SQL Server on Ubuntu in a few steps.

As database professionals, we should ensure the highest possible standards for database security and availability. In this blog, we will detail how the combination of SQL Server and Ubuntu Pro can help you achieve those goals.

Improved security and easier certification path

According to IBM’s 2022 report, a single breach costs around 4.35 million dollars. Equally worrying, the same report outlines an average of 277 days to discover and contain a data breach. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly urgent for organisations to secure their most valuable asset.

Microsoft SQL Server is one of the most secure databases ever. The following graph shows the number of vulnerabilities found in different database engines over a 9-year period. Microsoft SQL Server clearly holds the crown of the least vulnerable database:

However, having a secure database is not enough to ensure the security of the whole deployment. Once a malicious user gains root access to the database-hosting operating system, it’s only a question of time before they gain high privileges to the database itself.

According to the CVE details database, the most common type of vulnerabilities is code execution, representing around 25% of the total reported ones. This vulnerability type allows the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target machine or process. 

Ubuntu Pro helps you improve the security of your whole deployment by enhancing your security posture on different fronts.

First, Ubuntu Pro widens your patch coverage to more than 25,000 packages (up from 2,300 packages in Ubuntu LTS). Second, it provides you with Expanded Security Maintenance for an additional 5 years (so 10 in total). Therefore, Ubuntu Pro helps organizations reduce their surface attacks and gives them the freedom to choose when to upgrade.

Ubuntu Pro offers tools to harden your OS following the most stringent compliance regimes and security standards like ISO 27k, PCI, CIS, DISA-STIG and FedRAMP. If your company is running database workloads in regulated environments, then using Ubuntu Pro will help you pass the relevant audits and acquire the needed certifications.

With zero-day exploits nearly doubling in 2021 and with 80% of public exploits being published before their CVEs, it’s becoming critical to patch vulnerabilities as soon as they are known. Through kernel live patch, Ubuntu Pro ensures a timely roll-out of critical patches without needing a reboot that might impact your database availability.

Besides improving security and compliance, Microsoft SQL Server deployments on Ubuntu Pro offer support and availability enhancements.

Improved support and availability

Together, Canonical and Microsoft provide supported configurations to run a highly available Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu Pro. Both companies commit to providing 24/7 support for those configurations.

You can use the same flow when opening support tickets in Azure to get help. Behind the scenes, Microsoft and Canonical coordinate to promptly provide you with the needed support.

When running Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu LTS, you will need to seek support from the community without SLAs on resolution time.

Conclusion 

In summary, if you are running a production workload using Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu then you should definitely consider using Ubuntu Pro. If you are running a regulated workload then Ubuntu Pro is a great fit.

The good news is that you can start using SQL Server on Ubuntu Pro with just a few clicks.

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