VMWare failover

Posted on 2013-06-11
Last Modified: 2013-06-11

I have posted before regarding a VMWare solution we are looking at putting in place, i am currently looking into failover options.

We have purchased VMWare essentials plus to provide 2 physical hosts with virtual machines. 1 physical host would be used as the primary host with primary servers and the secondary server as failover. These are conected via iSCSI to an external NAS (which is also duplicated over to a secondary NAS for backup)  Please can you confirm the best way to enable failover in this setup is to use vSphere HA, or would clustering also be required through vCenter? In the event of the primary host failing then the secondary server would boot up and take over.

Question by:supportguy360
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 39236983
vSphere HA will restart the VMs on different host, this works automatically once enabled on the cluster, I think you are looking how to redirect the ESXi servers from the original storage to the other one, am I correct ?!

Author Comment

ID: 39237001
Many thanks.

The vCenter would need to be installed on a seperate machine in order to manage this though would it not?

My thoughts for the storage would be to use iSCSI failover in the microsoft initiator, pointing to the primary one then the secondary as failover (using the built in replication option on the NAS drives we are using, they are designed to be used with VMWare for iSCSI)

LVL 121
ID: 39237004
You can either use VMware HA or Microsoft Failover Clustering.

Microsoft Failover Clustering will provide faster Failover, VMware HA restarts the VMs on other available hosts, due to a host failure.

But requires another VM, and Microsoft Licensing.

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Author Comment

ID: 39237017
We would look at using the VMWare HA to provide the failover. This would be set within the vCenter wouldnt it? Is this best installed on its own stand alone machine, or could i install it on a virtual server on the secondary host (if the primary goes down this would still function and manage the failover, if the secondary host goes down the failover solution would be unavailable anyway)

As you can tell im failry new to VMWare but hav ebeen reading up on various things.  I am awaiting the delivery of things form our supplier and merely trying to prepare myself, im sure tings will become more clear when i have the setup in front of me.
LVL 121

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 400 total points
ID: 39237058
To enable VMware HA, first you must create a Add Hosts to a Cluster, Edit the Cluster Settings, and Enable HA - that's it!

Yes, you use VMware vCenter Server to configure Cluster and VMware HA.

vCenter Server can be installed on a physical or virtual server.

vCenter Server is *ONLY* used to Configure VMware HA, Agents are installed on the Hosts, that complete the work of HA, vCenter Server does not control HA. If vCenter Server is unavailable, machines will still restart on other available hosts, including vCenter Server.

Author Comment

ID: 39237072
Many thanks for your help.
LVL 121
ID: 39237192
No problems, glad to help. As you are fairly new to VMware, ,my EE Articles may also help you...

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