ESX with HA for Small Business

Chris Sandrini
Chris Sandrini used Ask the Experts™
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Hi

What would be an ideal ESX setup including vmotion with only 2 ESX servers for a Small Business? How could they offer HA?
Running the VMs on a NAS through iSCSI does not sound very robust. Especially if the NAS fails.

Is there any "cheap" solutions to still offer virtualisation and HA but not having to get through SAN attached redundant storage and everything?

Could the VMs run on the local disk of the ESX host and have a service "mirroring" the data to the other ESX host?
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Commented:
There isn't really a cheap HA option with VMware.

VMware essentials for 3 servers upto 2 sockets per server is around £400, no HA included
VMware essentials plus for same servers is around £4000 with HA.

One option is get VMware essentials and use Veeam essentials to replicate your servers from one ESXi host to the other. you then also get a backup solution in the process.
Chris SandriniSenior System Engineer
Top Expert 2012

Author

Commented:
Hi Dave

Thanks for your quick answer. Can you give me more information on how such a setup would look alike? You have 2 ESX hosts whith VMs running on it. Veeam will replicate the data between the 2 ESX hosts?

What would be to process to recover the VMs if one ESX host dies?

Commented:
You would replicate the vms on host 1 to host 2 and same in reverse, Veeam is capable of real time replication so if one host fails you would start the replica on the other host and off you go.

Failing back would involve replicating the servers back to original host to replicate changes since failure.

this is assuming that this is LAN replication and that each host has the required resources to host all vms

Hope that makes sense
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Commented:
Just to clarify, the replica is a powered off version of the original VM.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
You could do all this for FREE, e.g. MANUAL HA.

How much downtime, can you afford ?

If you are a small business, and have an issue with $$$ with the Licensing of VMware vSphere Essentials Plus, which is the starter edition with HA.

Do you have any shared storage in your organisation e.g. a NAS ?
Chris SandriniSenior System Engineer
Top Expert 2012

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew

Sorry for the delayed answer. It should not have more downtime than one day. Also the failover should be either automatic or rather simple to do.

There is no NAS available but were thinking about it. Not sure how reliable it is to run VMs on a NAS. Especially if the NAS fails.

One day downtime would cost 3 times as much money as having the Essentials Plus license. But to have HA we need to run the VMs also on a shared storage which can be a single point of failure as well I guess.

Even staring with manual HA would be a good start.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
You've got to replicate your VMs from one host to the other, or make sure your VMs are not located on the host which fails.

of, if you've got 1 day, you could restore ALL your VMs, from Backup within a day.
Chris SandriniSenior System Engineer
Top Expert 2012

Author

Commented:
I think I will go with the Manual HA solution. Thanks a lot for your comments

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