VMware ESXI failover

Posted on 2014-04-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-04-27

I have two ESXi physical servers. On one physical ESXi server I have a Vcenter running on it with a cluster set up with the two physical ESXi servers which both can see the storage etc.

If I lost the main physical ESXi server  including the Vcentre, how will the remaining physical ESXi server take over the virtual servers?

I shut down the main physical ESXi host today but although the other ESXi server could see the storage, it had not taken the virtual machines over or could see how I can start them from the other box.

Do I need a Vcentre cluster on the other ESXi host too?

How would I point the other ESXI server too the virtual machines? I assumed the cluster would automatically take them over

A little confused?
Question by:monarchit
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39981318
What is your storage? Do you have centralize storage with a SAN? Is it setup via iscsi/nfs?

Do you have HA enabled for the cluster? And both ESXI hosts are members of the cluster, correct?

You only need ONE instance of vcenter.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39981332
If it's a planned shutdown of the host first migrate the VM's to the other host, obviously, if it's unplanned you have to have HA enabled, properly configured it would restart the VM's on the host that remains active.

Author Comment

ID: 39981348
Yes a SAN via iSCSCi

Yes, both are members of a HA and both can see the storage?

How do I  manually migrate a VM to another host to test?
Yesterday. I manually shit down the virtual exchange servers , the Vcente and then the host but when I checked on the other physically esxi host, although it could see the SAN, the  virtual machines were not present so I could start them on that host if I wanted?
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Schuyler Dorsey earned 2000 total points
ID: 39981352
If you are going to manually shut down the host, it will not automatically fail over the VMs. If you are going to manually power them down, you should migrate them first.

To migrate, right click on the VM and hit migrate. It will walk you through a simple wizard to migrate it to the other host.

As long as HA is enabled, when hostA fails, it will reboot the VMs on hostB.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39981355
The reason you don't see the VMs on hostB when you connect after shutting down hostA is because the VMs are still registered to hostA.

If you go to Storage and into the datastore where your VMs sit, you should be able to see them there from each host.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39981358
If you want/NEED to test it. The closest way would probably be to pull the power from hostA so it takes a hard shutdown. But don't worry about shutting down VMs first.
LVL 126
ID: 39981404
If you had vCenter Server and VMware HA configured correctly if you just pulled out the power on the failing host, it will start the VMs automatically on Host B.

It needs to be a controlled shutdown.

Otherwise, what you need to do, is browse the shared storage VM folders, find the VMX file, Right Click it, and Select Register with Inventory, and then select VM and Power On!

You may not have Licenses, that include vMotion (e.g. Migrate when Powered On!)
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Schuyler Dorsey
ID: 39981409
^ To my knowledge, the only licensing structure that does not allow you to migrate a powered on VM is Essentials. Everything Essential Plus and on up allows to migrate the powered on VM.

The only limitation with Essentials Plus is the datastore cannot be changed while the VM is powered on s-vmotion is not supported in this license.

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