What are the best protection options for a VMware Guest that is also running SQL?
This depends on the "Microsoft SQL Recovery Model" that the database is running on.
FULL RECOVERY: An SQL database with a Full Recovery Model must have transaction logs taken. The most efficient method is to have Unitrends protect the Guest VM using "vProtection with Application Aware" and ensure that all databases have a user that is sysadmin and is a >>LOCAL<< Administrator of the VM. You compliment our backups with with a Microsoft SQL Maintenance Plan that truncates the SQL databases at a regular schedule.
SIMPLE RECOVERY: It is as easy as it sounds. Use the Unitrends to protect the Guest VM using "vProtection with Application Aware". This will perform all the work you need and can be used to protect the database as often as every hour.
Alternatively, if necessary, you can use the Client Agent to protect the SQL databases and then compliment those backups with a "vProtection with Application Consistent" backups. The Application Consistent setting ensures the Operating System is properly addressed in the backups but it does not send any calls to the SQL database, leaving it consistent for the next SQL backup. You must ensure that two schedules do NOT run at the same time. Never use a Client Agent backup with Application-Aware as both send backup confirmation details to the Microsoft which cause the last backed up record pointer to change, invalidating the next backup in the chain.