Yesterday at VMworld, VMware announced its entry into the managed database platform market with the introduction of vCloud Air SQL. This new service is an on-demand, managed service offering of Microsoft SQL Server. It’s meant to further the adoption of hybrid operations, since it can be used to extend on-premises SQL Server use into the cloud.
Currently the two major players in this space are Amazon RDS and Azure SQL. Both of those offerings are significantly more mature and feature-rich than VMware’s service as outlined in the early access User Guide.
The beta version of vCloud Air SQL has a number of initial limitations such as:
- SQL Server Licensing is not included or available. Meaning that the vCloud Air SQL platform is utilizing a “bring your own license” (BYOL) model. This requires that you have an enterprise agreement with software assurance in order to leverage license mobility for existing instances.
- SQL 2014 is not currently offered, only SQL 2008 & SQL 2012 are supported at this time.
- SQL Server Instances are limited to 150GB
- Service tiers are limited to three choices at launch and altering the service tier of an existing instance is not supported at this time.
Although there are a number of limitations, reviewing the early access beta documentation reveals some interesting details about this service offering:
- “Instant” Snapshot capabilities appear to be superior to any competitors managed service offerings. These features will be appealing to organizations leveraging DevOps and automated provisioning methodologies.
- Persistent storage is solid state (SSD) based and will likely be more performant than competing HDD offerings.
- A new cloud service named vCloud Air SQL DR is planned as a companion product. This service will integrate with an organization’s existing on-premises SQL Server instances. Once integrated, it will provide a variety of cloud based disaster recovery options leveraging Asynchronous replication topologies.
If you want to try this new service, VMware is offering a $300 Credit for first time vCloud Air users HERE.
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