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Microsoft has released the first release candidate of SQL Server 2017 for Ubuntu Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

We are pleased to announce availability of the first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, Release Candidate 1 (RC1), which is now available for download. This means that development work for the new version of SQL Server is complete along most dimensions needed to bring the industry-leading performance and security of SQL Server to Windows, Linux, and Docker containers.

In our seven community technology previews (CTPs) to date, SQL Server 2017 has delivered:

Linux support for tier-1, mission-critical workloads – SQL Server 2017 support for Linux includes the same high availability solutions on Linux as Windows Server, including Always On availability groups integrated with Linux native clustering solutions like Pacemaker.
Graph data processing in SQL Server – With the graph data features available in SQL Server 2017 and Azure SQL Database, customers can create nodes and edges, and discover complex and many-to-many relationships.
Adaptive query processing – Adaptive query processing is a family of features in SQL Server 2017 that automatically keeps database queries running as efficiently as possible without requiring additional tuning from database administrators. In addition to the capability to adjust batch mode memory grants, the feature set includes batch mode adaptive joins and interleaved execution capabilities.
Python integration for advanced analytics – Microsoft Machine Learning Services now brings you the ability to run in-database analytics using Python or R in a parallelized and scalable way. The ability to run advanced analytics in your operational store without ETL means faster time to insights for customers while easy deployment and rich extensibility make it fast to get up and running on the right model.

Key enhancements in Release Candidate 1
In SQL Server 2017 RC1, there were several feature enhancements of note:

SQL Server on Linux Active Directory integration – With RC1, SQL Server on Linux supports Active Directory Authentication, which enables domain-joined clients on either Windows or Linux to authenticate to SQL Server using their domain credentials and the Kerberos protocol. Check out the getting started instructions.
Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt data – SQL Server on Linux can use TLS to encrypt data that is transmitted across a network between a client application and an instance of SQL Server. SQL Server on Linux supports the following TLS protocols: TLS 1.2, 1.1, and 1.0. Check out the getting started instructions.
Machine Learning Services enhancements – In RC1, we add more model management capabilities for R Services on Windows Server, including External Library Management. The new release also supports Native Scoring.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) – In addition to the enhancements to SSAS from previous CTPs of SQL Server 2017, RC1 adds additional Dynamic Management Views, enabling dependency analysis and reporting. See the Analysis Services blog for more information.
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on Linux – The preview of SQL Server Integration Services on Linux now adds support for any Unicode ODBC driver, if it follows ODBC specifications. (ANSI ODBC driver is not supported.)
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) on Windows Server – RC1 adds support for SSIS scale out in highly available environments. Customers can now enable Always On for SSIS, setting up Windows Server failover clustering for the scale out master.

SQL Server 2017 for faster performance
SQL Server 2017 has several new benchmarks demonstrating faster performance than competitive databases, and against older versions of SQL Server:

The world record TPC-H 1TB nonclustered data warehousing benchmark, achieved in April 2017 using SQL Server 2017 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and HPE Proliant DL380 Gen9 hardware.
A new, nonclustered TPC-H 10TB data warehousing workload benchmark achieved using SQL Server 2017 on Windows Server 2016 and Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950 hardware. At 1,336,109 QppH, this newly published benchmark is a world record.
A new TPC-E benchmark achieved with SQL Server 2017 running on Windows Server 2016 on a Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650, a world record for 2 socket TPC-E results.
Install on Ubuntu Linux
Install on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Install on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)