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VMware High Availability Physical setup

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

I'm looking to deploy VMware's vSphere Essentials Plus Kit across 3 servers in the coming months, but it looks like my budget got cut to the point where I can't install a SAN. Is it possible to "mirror" a VM on 2 servers so in the event one physical server goes down, we can do the reboot on another machine, or am I correct in thinking the whole reason HA works is because of centralized storage? Thanks in advance!
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Question by:biofishfreak
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danm66 earned 63 total points
ID: 34973422
Yes, you will need centralized (or shared strorage in VMware vernacular) for HA, vMotion, DRS, FT, etc...

VMware doesn't have a solution for replication of VM's across hosts/datastores, but you might investigate Veeam's Backup & Replication to do this for you.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 62 total points
ID: 34973434
You require shared storage for HA, vMotion and DRS.

You could look at consider these free options to create a Virtual SAN on your network.

1. Openfiler (iSCSI or NFS) - http://www.openfiler.com/

2. FreeNAS  (iSCSI or NFS) - http://freenas.org/downloads

3. iSCSI Cake http://www.starwindsoftware.com/

4. StarWind iSCSI Tagert - http://www.starwindsoftware.com/

5. StorMagic - http://www.stormagic.com/SvSAN.php
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by:biofishfreak
ID: 34975600
I appreciate the quick response from both of you, and I will take a look at those free options hanccocka. After some discussion with my team, I think we are going to get a single controller SAN then buy the second controller later this year/ first thing next year. While having down time sucks (and I realize there is a risk creating a single point of failure like that) I think we will be better off going this route for the time being.
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LVL 120
ID: 34975684
Have a look at the MSA2324i (with a single controller).

although I've seen many SANs fail, even with dual controllers!

so you may want to think about that single point of failure!
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by:biofishfreak
ID: 34975917
Sorry to keep asking questions (I can open a new question with new points if you want), but what would be the best setup then? Two dual controller SANs? That would definitely be out of the budget for the foreseeable future.
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LVL 120
ID: 34975951
You could consider a SAN with Dual Heads, and Dual Controllers, (e.g. SAN with Clustered Heads).

But with all these things, how much resilience you wants, is just a case of more money being spent on the solution. Before getting involved in the technology dictating the solution, turn it around, and start with what requirements do you have? This should be based on Service Levels, Uptime, Service Level Agreements, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Manamgement Buy-in, and ultimately ask the Business what they require.

How much downtime can the business afford, if you put ALL the eggs in on basket.
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