ESXi High Availability - Fault Tollerance

Hi,

I have two new Dell Servers that are running ESXi. I have plenty or RAM and disk space on both and would like to use them with High Availability.

I would like to run 2 or 3 OS on the servers. One will be SBS 2012 and the other most probably Server 2008.

What I'm looking for its to use them both to reduce redundancy.

I also have a ReadyNAS Storage with 12TB of Storage available that can cater iSCSI also.

Do I need additional software for ESXi ?

I'm looking to be pointed in the right direction on how to configure is at all possible the set-up. Or am I going to have to move away from SBS?

Thanks
Gareth_PointonAsked:
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Joseph DalyCommented:
ESXi runs on the host server but Vcenter actually provides many of the functions you are probably looking for.

For High Availbility, DRS, Storage DRS, Fault tolerance and many other advanced features you will need to purchase a Vcenter license and configure a Vcenter server (can be virtual). You will then add your two hosts to a cluster.
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Gareth_PointonAuthor Commented:
OK so VCenter does that have to be replicated over the two Servers (Shells) or is it a stand alone aspect?
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Joseph DalyCommented:
Vcenter can either be a virtual appliance or a windows box with SQL that can be virtualized on the Esxi hosts. You will only need one of them.

Give this page a read through it is very good at explaining the aspects of Vcenter. It also has step by step instructions on getting a virtual environment set up.

http://www.vmadmin.co.uk/vmware/36-virtualcenter/275-vcenter5install
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You will need to purchase at least VMware vSphere Essentials Plus for VMware HA, which includes a license for VMware vSphere vCenter Server which controls and configures VMware HA.

http://store.vmware.com/DRHM/store?Action=AddItemToRequisition&SiteID=vmwde&Locale=en_GB&productID=285003000

vCenter Server is an application installed on Windows Server or the Linux Appliance, it can be installed on a physical server or virtual server.

VMware HA, provides the ability, that should a host fail, it will restart the VM, on other available hosts within 1-2mins.

So you can expect 1-2mins of downtime - do you require more?

http://www.vmware.com/products/high-availability/overview.html

VMware High Availability (HA) Product Briefs

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/ha_datasheet.pdf
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-High-Availability-DS-EN.pdf

You also need to check if the ReadyNAS Storage with 12TB of Storage available that can cater iSCSI is on the HCL see below:-

Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatability Lists) here

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl
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Gareth_PointonAuthor Commented:
Question ..  If its installed on a server thats virtual and that chassis goes down does it still fail over ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, because the vCenter Server is only used to configure VMware HA, and the HA Agents on the Servers are responsible for restarting VMs on the Host Servers, not vCenter Server!
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Gareth_PointonAuthor Commented:
OK ..  So the vCenter installs a "Client" or "Agent" on the actual virtual machines to manage and monitor themselves.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
HA Agent on the HOST!

Host monitors itself, other hosts, and the VMs!
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Gareth_PointonAuthor Commented:
Going to come back to this in a months time.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems no rush
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Gareth_PointonAuthor Commented:
Just I have to enter something as I cannot post anything else due to the time constraints.
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