"Host" clustering rather than "appliation" clustering vitual servers in VMWare environment.

Greetings all,

I need to cluster two virtual Windows 2008 R2 servers with SQL installed that are on separate ESX hosts.  In the documentation I have found I am only seeing how to cluster SQL.  What I would like to do is cluster two complete servers.  Does this make sense?  Two identical servers clustered - not two applications (SQL) on the servers.

Anyone seen this before?  If so - can you point me in the right direction for some good documentation.  I'm having trouble coming up with just the right combination of words to get good Google search results.
yccdadminsAsked:
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gheistCommented:
That is what vmware FT does, but it is slow in general.
SQL clustering is native to SQL server, and clustering rest of windows offers no added value.
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yccdadminsAuthor Commented:
VM "FT"?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
FT = VMware Fault Tolerence

What are you trying to do, because VMware FT, both Servers are Locked Stepped, if the first server breaks or has a BSOD, so will the second server.

Because they are identical;...

Are you trying to HA the server or the service or application ?

load balance, available, or resilient ?

have you seen Double Take ?

VMware Fault Tolerance Product Brief

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-Fault-Tolerance-FT-DS-EN.pdf

VMware vSphere Availability Guide ESX 4.1vSphere
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_availability.pdf

But it has many caveats!
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yccdadminsAuthor Commented:
Hello and thank you for all of the information.

I am trying to figure out the best way to provide failover without both servers and their SQL having to point back to a single storage array.  The common way to set this up is to set up two servers, cluster SQlL and have them both pointing back to a shared array where the data resides.  There is always replication between arra

The best way I can describe what I'm looking for is machine (or VM) failover rather than application - everything is written/changed on both servers (not just changes to SQL) and if one server fails it doesn't matter.  Basically, clustered servers rather than a clustered service.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
This can be achieved with VMware FT with lots of caveats or Double Take which works with physical or virtual.
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gheistCommented:
You must patch windows monthly. None of FT solutions covers that downtime while SQL server cluster goes through just fine...
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yccdadminsAuthor Commented:
I think the links you have provided have me set.  Thanks for saving me some search time for sure!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
no problems....
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