VMware vCloud Air SQL Summarized

After reading through yesterday’s announcements about VMware vCloud Air SQL, here’s a quick boiled-down version for busy people with jobs:

  • It’s Microsoft SQL Server 2008R2 and 2012 Enterprise Edition hosted in VMware’s data centers (not on-premises.)
  • Only 3 instance sizes are available: small (2vCPU, 8GB RAM), medium (4vCPU, 16GB RAM) and large (8 vCPU).
  • Drive space is limited to 150GB today (including data, log, and tempdb) but will be 2TB at official launch.
  • Licensing is not included yet – you have to bring your own EEs. (Unfortunately, due to the way MS License Mobility works, that means you have to move your licenses to vCloud Air SQL for a minimum of 90 days. Not many of us have spare licenses for this type of thing.)
  • The instance will need a public IP address if you want to access it from outside of VMware’s data centers. (See the “secure access” section on page 3 of the Solutions Brief PDF.)
  • The instances appear to be single virtual machines – the only high availability is the VMware host protection. (I can’t find mention of a SLA for data loss.)
  • You get a dedicated VM (not a dedicated host), but you can’t access the VM. You can only access SQL Server through your chosen port (typically 1433).
  • To get your data into vCloud Air, you’ll be pushing it through ETL products or insert statements. Restores are not supported.

In summary, if it was announced three years ago, it still wouldn’t have even competed with Amazon RDS for SQL Server back then – here’s our initial 2012 post about the RDS release. Amazon has more options for instance sizing, drives, licensing, connectivity, high availability – heck, even database platforms, because AWS supports MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and even their own flavor, Aurora.

I don’t get why VMware would enter this market, at this time, with this product.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • “I don’t get why VMware would enter this market, at this time, with this product.”

    Is this some kind of competition where I win free Brent Ozar stuff?

    My guess:
    Because they use Benjamins to light their cigars?

  • If restores are not supported. I take it there are no backups then. Does it support general db maintenance. How do you deal with physical corruption without data loss.

  • Nicolás Cabrera
    September 7, 2015 9:50 am

    “I don’t get why VMware would enter this market, at this time, with this product.” Yeah… this sounds like an euphemism, I really can’t understand the decision making process behind this product… thanks for sharing!


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