Many of you have read my article titled The Status of Microsoft Failover Clustering Support on VMware vSphere 5.1 where I outlined different options based on the support status of clustering configurations on VMware vSphere 5.1. I’m happy to report that in-guest storage access configurations mean that Windows 2012 Failover Clustering is now supported by VMware and the KB 1037959 Microsoft Clustering on VMware vSphere: Guidelines for Supported Configurations has been updated to reflect this. The supported configurations are limited to the use of non-shared disk configurations and in-guest storage access to either iSCSI or SMB based storage for Windows 2012 Failover Clusters. Due to the nature of non-shared disk and in-guest storage access none of the node limits apply. So you can run as many nodes as you like (up to the maximum supported by Windows). This is great news for customers wanting to run clusters within their environments using Windows Server 2012. Bare in mind that vMotion hasn’t been explicitly tested by VMware with these cluster configurations. However as the storage access is transparent to the hypervisor, the network stack is supported, and as per the VMware Clustering Guide – Setup for Failover Cluster and Microsoft Cluster Service (page 9), no explicit support statement is necessary. The KB also includes provision for SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups on top of Windows 2012! So feel free to run these types of clusters for your MS SQL Server 2012 systems on top of Windows 2012! The rule book on this has been rewritten as of vSphere 5.5. Please see my latest article titled vSphere 5.5 Windows Failover Clustering Support.
From what I can see VMware is working hard on improving support for clustering configurations across the board including with Microsoft Server 2012 to ensure that vSphere is the best and most trusted platform for running business critical applications. I will bring you future updates on capabilities and support as they occur, such as with vSphere 5.5 – vSphere 5.5 Windows Failover Clustering Support. Until then I hope this article and my other articles help you to make the best possible design and architecture decisions for your environments.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com, by Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2013 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.