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Best solution for heartbeat network in VMware for Windows 2008 cluster

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am currently working on setting up a Windows Server 2008 cluster for SQL 2008. I have 5 hosts and would like to be able to use HA, DRS, and vMotion. With that said I will need a heartbeat between them. Unfortunately I don't have full control over the hardware because it is managed, if I did I would use a NIC on each into a VLAN for everything, that probably is not possible.

So with that said, I am looking for suggestions on how to get a network connection across all these systems for a heartbeat network.
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Question by:ThorinO
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danm66 earned 500 total points
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I guess it will depend upon how the networking is done to the hosts like if they trunk vlan's to the hosts or not.

I suppose what I would do, in your case, is to create another vmnetwork portgroup on one of the vswitches, (maybe the one you have them create for vmotion/FT???) and then just pick a 192.168.X.X network that isn't in use for the second network adapters in each VM to use.

As long as you pick the same vswitch for each host to put this portgroup on, there should be network connectivity and by using your own 192.168 network (with no default gateway assigned)... you should end up with a private network.  
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by:ThorinO
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That is what I was thinking a minute ago. They do VLAN us off. So if I create another VM port group on vSwitch0 and call it say "Heartbeat" and put those 2 NICs on there it should isolate them from the data traffic right?

I know it isn't the cleanest setup but it is what I have to work with.
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by:danm66
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yeah, I think that should work.  If they restrict the switch ports to only accept traffic on say, VLAN 70, as long as you're setup to use VLAN 70 it won't matter what network you use for that portgroup as long as all systems use the same subnet.  Then it comes down to whether your links are trunked or not, but that will need to be known for general network setup anyways.
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by:ThorinO
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They are trunked, so, I think that would not make much of a difference since they would both be on the same vSwitch, and physical NICs.
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by:ThorinO
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I ended up having our datacenter plug in a network cable between a free NIC port on each host (like a crossover) and mapped them that way.
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Thanks
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