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High Availability & virtual machine startup/shutdown question

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2016-05-17
Hi,

I can't test it right now but in the past there were some problems with this ...

So it seems like HA only works correctly (= starting VMs on host Y if host X has failed) in our infrastructure if we don't use 'virtual machine automatic startup and shutdown' at the same time ... Is that like it's supposed to be though ... ? Because it doesn't really make sense since then the virtual machines would not start automatically after a complete power failure?

Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks!
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Question by:Xeronimo
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Accepted Solution

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Abhilash earned 500 total points
ID: 39912559
'virtual machine automatic startup and shutdown' is only used in case of power failures. It is when the host just powers of and then later comes back.
HA is a totally different concept which occurs when the  host failure occurs. You will not be able to use both of them together. Both of them do the same task but in different scenarios.

Yes if the Host is part of HA cluster and if there's a power failure the VM's will not start up on their own, you will have to power them up. The question is will such a case come for any organization? i doubt it. There always will be redundant power sources. Even if it occurs a manual restart is needed.
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Author Comment

by:Xeronimo
ID: 39916865
Thank you Abhilash,

The problem is that we had complete power failures a couple of time (meaning the whole neighborhood didn't have power for an hour or so). That's too long for the UPS to keep the servers up so at some point they shut down.

And if the VMs are not configured to start automatically then they will stay powered down, of course, until someone manually powers them up.

I could of course configure them as 'start automatically' but it seemed to me like then the HA won't start them correctly after a host has failed (or made to fail as a test).

I guess I really have to test this again then ...
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Expert Comment

by:Venthought
ID: 41600429
Hi,

I just would like to comment on this because we have more or less the same issue. I come to read this because I am searching for an answer on how I can enable the startup order even if HA is enabled. So far from VMWare documentation, forums and articles, startup order will be disabled when you enable HA. The point Abhilash has mentioned on the Accepted Solution, does make sense in those two scenarios - power failure and host failure.

Way back last year, I enabled HA and when I checked the startup order it grayed out. It disables my startup order settings. So I set HA back to disabled again and maintain my startup order. My problem now is I don't have protection in case of host failure.

After some time, it bothers me a lot of a host failure. So, I created a new cluster and move two hosts. I enabled HA. When I checked the startup order properties, to my surprise I can enable the startup order even if I have HA enabled. So I set my startup order to automatically start those critical servers.

So, now I have HA enabled and I have set my startup order as well. My question now, will the startup order works? Here's my take and please verify and confirm.

- Scenario 1: Host failure - for me, no. Because HA is enable, so if a host failed the VMs will automatically migrate to the other available host. But will it migrate according to the startup order sequence I set? (please confirm)

- Scenario 2: Power resumes from an outage - for me, Yes, the startup order will kick in to this scenario.
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