Windows Clustering or Vmware 6.5 Fault Tolerance   (Original Question has been edited where I had erroneously asked Windows Clustering or Vmware HA)

cgeorgeisaac used Ask the Experts™
We are in the process of implementing virtual Fax Servers in our environment and one of the requirement is to create  Windows Cluster.
We do have vSphere 6.5 with the required licenses.  
Question:  Cud I use VMWare HA instead.   Is it better to use vMware HA or  Windows Cluster?
Cud I have a good step by step guide how to set up both?
Thank you.
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kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

What is requiring a cluster? What is the impact of a few minutes of downtime if a VM goes down and needs to be rebooted?

Can the fax service even be done as a Windows cluster, or is the cluster for the database?

VMware clustering and Windows clustering are very different. With VMware clustering, you have just 1 VM and it doesn't know that it is clustered. Clustering is all handled by the hypervisor. If the VM dies or the host dies, the VM needs to restart from an unexpected shutdown.

Windows clustering is handles by Windows OS. You need to have at least 2 VM running, and whatever service you're clustering needs to be cluster aware in most cases. Configuration is much more difficult for a Microsoft cluster.

There is also application level clustering, where the application is expressly designed for high availability without relying on the OS to provide clustering. Microsoft SQL has this, as one example.
cgeorgeisaacSenior Engineer


Thank you kevinhsieh for explaining it so well.    Actually I had meant VMware Fault Tolerance or  Windows Clustering! Which is better?
Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
If the application vendor requests a Windows Cluster then the application must be cluster aware. Thus, having it set up in that environment would be what's best for the way it works when there is a failure. Depending on how this works, it could be a fairly seamless transition if one of the cluster "nodes" goes offline. One would need to make sure to set VMware node affinity for each VM in the Windows Cluster to make sure they stay on different nodes in the VMware HA cluster.

The application could be run in standalone mode with the underlying VMware HA setup providing failover services. The catch with this option would be the downtime required for the VM to flip over to a good node and spool up again.

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