After reading in a forum that Microsoft will not support SQL if it is hosted in VMWare I decided to confirm or deny this rumor by placing a call with Microsoft. I recieved the following response: (I removed my case number and condensed the formatting to place it in this forum.)
Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service.
I understand that you would like to know whether Microsoft supports SQL in a virtual environment. I will direct you to the appropriate team for review.
I suggest you to visit the below link which discusses about the Microsoft Virtual Server support policy:
For more information, I recommend you to contact our Microsoft Information Team at: (800) 426-9400. They are available from Monday through Friday 6:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time. This team will be in a better position to assist you.
I hope the above information is helpful.
The hyper link doesn't say much to answer my question so I decided to call the 1-800 number. After a few call forwards I was handed to a technician that eventually furnished me with these two documents:
To summarize. Microsoft "may" attempt to support the product but reserves the right to require a bare metal copy prior to committing to a full support case unless you are a company that has a premier agreement with Microsoft. The first article does indicate that Microsoft does have support partners for non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. The only partner they have listed is Novell ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944987/ ). I can only hope that some day soon VMWare will get their product added to this list. This potential lack of support has really put a sour note in the eyes of my management with regards to installing VMWare ESX server.
If my findings are outdated or incorrect please let me know. Better yet, please take steps to let everybody know.