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How to implement vmware HA?

Posted on 2011-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
This is using a vmware esxi 4.1, with 1 vm that running a critical application. My management thinks of clustering and HA, so as, if this server down, there is still a backup and up to replace it in a acceptable short downtime. Does VMware HA fix the bill? BTW, how to implement it and how is this HA works?
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Question by:Balack
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7 Comments
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 35102550
What you really need is a combination of things. HA is more to keep VMs running in the event of an ESX/ESXi host failure. If the host a VM (or VMs) is on goes down, that VM is restarted on the running host in the cluster. But, HA doesn't help you in the event your VM crashes. What you need there is a VM b/u and replication tool, like Veeam Backup & Replication. You can look at that and trial it for 30 days.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 1125 total points
ID: 35102595
See the Availability Guide that discusses HA more, specifically beginning on pg. 9, then 'How it Works' beginning on pg. 13.
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_availability.pdf

Veeam Backup/Replication download:
http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html

coolsport00
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:Danny McDaniel
Danny McDaniel earned 150 total points
ID: 35103079
HA does have the option to do guest monitoring, but it's limited in how it monitors the VM.  In short, you'll need at least 2 hosts, shared storage (typically SAN or NAS), vCenter server and both hosts on the same network segment(best practice).
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Randy_Bojangles
Randy_Bojangles earned 165 total points
ID: 35106455
I'd echo all of the above about HA but would add that Fault Tolerance (FT) adds a level of sophictication against a VM failure

However its only in the higher level licenses for VM, needs more NICs, has a smaller O/S support and, like HA, you'll need a VC, shared storage etc
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LVL 123

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 60 total points
ID: 35106524
Additional reading at this is the best technical resource available

VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical deepdive (Volume 1)

http://www.amazon.com/VMware-vSphere-4-1-Technical-deepdive/dp/1456301446

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LVL 40

Accepted Solution

by:
coolsport00 earned 1125 total points
ID: 35107996
Honesly, if you have a replicated VM on another host, outside of HA, you don't really need anything else because in the event of the source VM failure, all you do is power on the replicated VM and you're back up. Downtime is pretty miniscule, well, unless you're offsite when it happens, then you're down for as long as it takes to either go into the office or power on the VM remotely. :) Unless you have something like a Cluster situation (Microsoft Clustering) in place, there will be some downtime. It really depends on your org SLAs, budget, and policies for that particular VM that will help you narrow down the direction you wanna take.

BTW...still waiting for Duncan to give out another chance at a free book "hanccocka". :)

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Author Closing Comment

by:Balack
ID: 35135368
good
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