Microsoft has "suspended" its SQL Server on Windows Containers project, as announced in a short blog post on July 5. Microsoft is advising those interested in running SQL Server in containers to go the Linux route instead.
Microsoft officials attributed the decision to suspend the SQL Server on Windows Containers beta program "for the foreseeable future" to "the existing ecosystem challenges and usage patterns." In short, people weren't using it, even in test and development -- which is the only way it has been supported since its start in 2017. Microsoft announced SQL Server 2017, available for both Windows and Linux, at that time.
The decision to drop SQL Server on Windows Containers isn't all that surprising, given there's likely fairly limited uptake for enterprise software for Windows running in containers on Windows. "Containers" on Windows are more applicable when used for purposes such as security sandboxes or virtualization.
Microsoft officials said they are deleting the SQL Server Windows repos and images effective immediately so that no new users or customers download them. Existing users who are working with the beta will be able to continue using it and to custom build their SQL Server on Windows images, officials said.
Microsoft plans to continue to support SQL Server on Linux containers for production environments, according to the company's post.
Microsoft recently announced plans to enable users to run Azure SQL Managed Instance -- a cloud version of SQL Server -- on non-Azure clouds, and even on-premises. This Arc-enabled Azure SQL capability will be generally available and production-ready on July 30th, 2021.