vCenter HA: Configure vCenter HA

This post is part of a series on deploying Highly Available vCenter and Platform Services Controllers.

Part 1: vCenter HA: Deploy External Platform Services Controller

Part 2: vCenter HA: Configure NetScaler for External Platform Services Controllers

Part 3: vCenter HA: Replace Certificates for Platform Services Controllers

Part 4: vCenter HA: Connect Platform Services Controllers to Active Directory

Part 5: vCenter HA: Deploy vCenter

Part 6: vCenter HA: Replace Certificates for vCenter

Part 7: vCenter HA: License vCenter

Part 8: vCenter HA: Add and Configure Hosts and Clusters

Part 9: vCenter HA: Add and Configure Datastores and Datastore Clusters

Part 10: vCenter HA: Add and Configure Distributed Switches

Part 11: vCenter HA: Configure vCenter HA

Part 12+: Advanced Tasks (Coming soon)


Now we get to the best part about 6.5 and that is HA vCenter. You can do this with the Windows installation and Microsoft Failover Clustering, but thats just a tad more difficult. The appliances have made things so much easier and it has been a long time coming. I have always been weary of the appliances because of more limited functionality, but as of this release, I don’t know that the appliances can’t do anything that the Windows version can do. Fully managed Update Manager also.

So there are a couple things to note here. vCenter HA doesn’t work with Datastore Clusters. So I propose that you create three specific LUNs with enough space for vCenter+overhead+snapshot+10%. Nobody likes running out of space. Another thing that I haven’t seen other people highlight is that you don’t need to do load balancing or a VIP. The appliances are Active/Passive and a vCenter failover will assume the name and IP address. Here is a bulleted list of requirements/recommendations.

  1. three Datastores for vCenter appliances
  2. Distributed Port Group for a separate subnet for HA traffic
  3. three IPs for HA traffic on a separate subnet: one for vCenter primary, one for failover node, one for witness

That is pretty much all you need. The first thing you need to do is create the port group for HA traffic.

Just follow the screenshots or return to the previous post for port group creation.

Now you have an HA port group.

Click the Home button at the top to return to the home page.

Click Hosts and Clusters.

Select the vCenter server at the top.

Click the Configure tab.

Click vCenter HA.

Here you can see what the basic architecture looks like.

Click Configure in the upper right corner.

Select the radio button for Basic.

Click Next.

Enter the static IP for the Active node HA network.

Click Browse to select the vCenter HA network.

Select the HA network port group that you created.

Click OK.

Click Next.

Enter the HA IP address for the Passive node and the Witness Node.

Click Next.

Here you can see I didn’t do the datastore only. I wanted to demonstrate what it looks like.

If you did the datastore only, you can move ahead.

Click Edit.

Click Next.

Click Next.

Select a new datastore.

Click Next.

Click Next.

Click Finish.

Repeat for the Witness node.

Now we are ready to go.

Click Next.

Click Finish.

After a little bit of buzz/whir, you will see that vCenter HA has been enabled and that was pretty damn easy. I like it VMware. Good job.

Now we want to create Anti-affinity rules so we can tolerate host failures.

Click the Cluster.

Click VM/Host rules.

Look at that. The wizard did it for us. Really good job VMware.

You now have highly available Platform Services Controllers and vCenter HA with some basic configurations of host, storage, and networking.


Next Post:  Advanced Tasks (Coming soon)


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