vCenter Heartbeat is the only supported and validated solution for providing high availability to vCenter Server, and can also protect the core components that go with it (such as SSO, VUM, Inventory Service etc). I strongly recommend vCenter Server Heartbeat be considered for environments where the management infrastructure availability is critical. I’ve used vCenter Server Heartbeat in a number of implementations. But it hasn’t always been easy to implement. The good news is that now thanks to the team at VMware and VMware KBTV we have a video that takes you through the installation and validation of vCenter Server Heartbeat in a vSphere 5.1 environment. In this article I’ll give you some insight into when you might want to deploy vCenter Server Heartbeat, and you can learn how by viewing the video.
Some of you may also remember the article I wrote titled Using vCenter Heartbeat to Protect Non-vCenter SQL DB? Think Again!. vCenter Server Heartbeat is only licensed and supported to provide HA and protect certain components. This article will outline what components are supported with the new vSphere 5.1 release and some important design and deployment considerations.
It was good to read recently on Duncan Epping’s blog Yellow Bricks that database clustering support for vCloud Director is added in version 5.1. vCloud Director now supports both Oracle RAC and also Microsoft Cluster Services or Microsoft Failover Clustering for MS SQL Server for it’s database. This was previously not supported in vCloud Director 1.0 and 1.5. But what is the support situation for all of the other components when it comes to database clustering, including vCenter Server?
I’ve been doing a lot of work with vCenter Heartbeat recently, which is a product I really like and my customers appreciate and see a lot of value from. I was very fortunate to get an opportunity to speak to the product manager about the product in quite a lot of depth. While I can’t tell you anything that is covered by NDA, I can tell you some interesting and important information that has come out of these conversations. This is extremely relevant to vCloud Directory environments where SQL is being used as the database, and also Enterprise environments using vCenter Heartbeat that have other VMware Management Tools such as Site Recovery Manager.