VMware (VMW) has a message for SQL Server partners that want to move Microsoft's relational database to the cloud: Give vCloud Hybrid Service a try. Indeed, VMware's own cloud platform is certified to run SQL Server 2012 and and 2008 -- providing customers and partners with an alternative to Microsoft's own SQL Azure cloud platform.

According to a recent VMware blog:

  • The hybrid cloud enables customers who are running SQL Server on premise to easily extend their data center into the cloud, because SQL Server can run in the VMware hybrid cloud without any code changes.
  • Alternatively, Microsoft SQL Server customers who are part of Microsoft’s License Mobility for Software Assurance Program can utilize unused Microsoft licenses on the vCloud Hybrid Service, or can move an existing SQL server workload to the cloud.  VMware has written a white paper to help you Bring Your Own Microsoft License to the vCloud Hybrid Service.

VMware sees at least six use cases for running SQL Server in vCloud Hybrid Service. They include:

  1. Test/dev
  2. disaster recovery and high availability services
  3. Backiup and restore of on-premises databases
  4. Public facing web and mobile apps that interact with on-premises systems
  5. content distribution applications
  6. Data collaboration applications

The VAR Guy is intrigued. But vCloud Hybrid Service faces plenty of competition in the hosted SQL Server market. In addition to Microsoft's own SQL Azure, many of Microsoft's Cloud OS Network partners offer SQL Server in the cloud. Also, giants like Rackspace and Amazon Web Services offer the Microsoft database in the cloud.

Side note: The VAR Guy's sister community, SQL Server Pro, closely tracks the Microsoft database's on-premises and cloud capabilities.