Supported vCenter Server high availability options (1024051)
This article provides information about supported high availability options for VMware vCenter Server as well as information regarding VMware's stance on use of third-party solutions to protect the vSphere environment.
High availability for VMware vCenter Server can be primarily implemented using one of these for vCenter Server 5.x and 6.x.
VMware vSphere HA provides robust general-purpose protection against hardware and operating system failures for vCenter Server instances running on a virtual machine. Once configured, vSphere HA monitors hosts and virtual machines, and takes the user-configured action with or without vCenter Server availability. For more information about vSphere HA, see theHow vSphere HA Workssection of thevSphere Availability Guide.
Introduced in vSphere 6.0, customers can now use SMP-FT. VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) can be utilized to provide continuous availability for vCenter Server by having identical vCenter Server virtual machines running on separate hosts. A transparent failover occurs if the host running the Primary vCenter Server virtual machine fails, in which case the Secondary vCenter Server virtual machine is immediately activated to replace the failed virtual machine. A new secondary virtual machine is started and Fault Tolerance redundancy is reestablished automatically. Because support of FT for up to 4 virtual CPUs (vCPU) is available only in vSphere 6.0 Enterprise Plus edition, FT can only be used to protect vCenter Server for the tiny and small deployment type, 2 vCPU and 4 vCPU, respectively. For more information about Fault Tolerance, see Fault Tolerance Requirements, Limits, and Licensingin thevSphere Availability Guide. For more information about sizing of your vCenter Server and the supported numbers of hosts and virtual machines, seevCenter Server Appliance Hardware RequirementsandvCenter Server for Windows Hardware Requirements sections in the vSphere Install and Setup Guide.
For steps on setting up vSphere FT, seePreparing Your Cluster and Hosts for Fault Tolerancein thevSphere AvailabilityGuide.
Introduced in vSphere 6.0, customers can now use the vCenter Server Watchdog. vCenter Server Watchdog monitors and protects vCenter Server'sVPXD providing better availability by periodically checking the vCenter Server processes (PID Watchdog) or the vCenter Server API (API Watchdog). If the Watchdog service detects that APIs are not running or responding, the Watchdog attempts to restart the service two times; on the third attempt, depending on your configuration, the Watchdog can reboot the vCenter Server's Host OS. For more information about the Watchdog, seeEstablishing Watchdog Supportin thevCenter Server and Host ManagementGuide. Watchdog is enabled out of the box for vCenter Server 6.0.
As of vSphere 6.0, VMware introduced support for using Windows Server Failover Clustering or Microsoft Server Failover Clustering to protect a Windows-based vCenter Server. A transparent failover occurs if the Host Operating System (Host OS) running the Primary vCenter Server virtual machine fails, in which case the Secondary vCenter Server virtual machine is immediately activated to replace the failed virtual machine. WSFC/MSCS protection can only be used to protect the vCenter Server.
For steps on setting up WSFC or MSCS for vCenter Server, see the VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide in theVMware High Availability White Paperssection below.
Prior to the vCenter 5.5 Update 2 release, VMware had not certified vCenter high availability using WSFC. VMware has qualified vCenter high availability with vCenter 5.5 Update 2 using WSFC.
Third-party High Availability Solutions:
Other, third-party solutions are available to protect VMware vCenter Server 5.x and 6.0 including, but not limited to these solutions. However, these solutions are not certified by VMware for use with vCenter Server to provide high availability. If problems are experienced when the third-party solution is used with vCenter Server, VMware offers best effort support for any issues encountered with an environment that uses third-party solutions for protecting against VMware VirtualCenter downtime. However, VMware reserves the right to not support the environment until a compatible solution is used. For more information, see the VMware third-party hardware and software support policy.
Note: This list is not all inclusive.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn
Microsoft SQL Server Database Mirroring
Symantec Application HA for VMware
Customers seeking to add support for any third-party high availability solution may file a Feature Request or engage their VMware account team in filing a Request for Feature Enhancement (RFE) through a Request for Price Quotation (RPQ). For more information, see: