As a Data Director system administrator you upload and manage the SQL Server base database templates that organization administrators, DBAs, and application developers use to provision SQL Server databases.

Use SQL Server with Data Director to set up a dedicated vSphere ESXi cluster for hosting SQL Server resources, including operating system, SQL Server database server, and client tools. You create SQL Server base database virtual machines (DBVMs) using the dedicated SQL Server resources in vSphere, and upload the DBVMs to Data Director to use as database templates from which you can provision SQL Server databases.

Data Director supports the following SQL Server versions.

SQL Server 2012 Enterprise and Standard editions.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Standard editions.

Data Director supports the creation of a stand-alone SQL Server instance using the default (unnamed) instance or a named instance. The default instance name is the same as the host name. You can have only one default instance per virtual machine.


A SQL Server instance is either an unnamed instance or a named instance. When SQL Server is installed as an unnamed instance, it does not require a client to specify the name of the instance to make a connection. The client only has to know the server name. A named instance is identified by the network name of the computer plus the instance name that you specify during installation. The client must specify both the server name and the instance name when connecting. By default, SQL Server installs as an unnamed instance unless you specify an instance name.

The Data Director provisioning process prepares and configures the SQL Server software as described in the following list.

The SQL Server DBVM can join an existing Windows domain during provisioning. You must provide a Windows Active Directory credential with sufficient privileges to join the domain. If a SQL Server DBVM joins a domain, Windows authentication is the authentication method. The user-supplied domain account is added to the sysadmin role of the SQL Server instance.

If the DBVM does not join a domain, Data Director uses mixed authentication, and prompts for the SQL Server System Administrator (SA) password.

No user databases are created when provisioning within Data Director.

Data Director supports manually initiated, snapshot backups with SQL Server DBVMs. You cannot use automatic, external, or point-in-time recovery (PITR) backups when using a SQL Server a DBVM.

If you create a snapshot backup of a SQL Server DBVM, then change the configuration properties of the DBVM and try to recover from the now out-of-date (or un-synchronized) snapshot, the virtual machine may become unstable, or the configuration values displayed in the Data Director interface for the SQL Server DBVM may not be accurate.

Also, snapshot backups may decrease the I/O performance of a SQL Server DBVM.

For these reasons VMware recommends that you only use snapshots as a temporary backup solution, and that you maintain them for a limited amount of time. You can use snapshot backups before performing system maintenance, such as applying patches to the operating system or database software, or performing database operations that may cause a loss of data. When you have successfully completed the maintenance or data changing tasks, delete the snapshot backup.

See Snapshot and Create a Database Snapshot.

You can provision new, empty SQL Server databases using Data Director. To learn more about creating a SQL Server database, see Create an Empty SQL Server Database.

The following Data Director features are not available for use with SQL Server. When managing SQL Server databases the user interface controls for these features are not available in the Data Director administration console.

Database cloning.

Adding databases to the organization catalog.

Database ingestion.

Use of IP whitelists.

Changing disk size.

DBVM reporting.

Editing database resources.

Adding database owners.

Base DB template validation.