High Availability

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-08-25 Print this article Print

One way that VM maintenance was improved in vSphere 5.0 was in the new HA features. Primary and secondary nodes are gone, replaced with a master-slave concept that eliminates planning the location of these nodes. Instead, participating systems elect a master as needed. Also gone is dependency on DNS (Domain Name System) services. A wizard-based interface speeds up HA deployment chores. In this version of HA, I was easily able to use the storage subsystem as a secondary heartbeat monitor that provided a redundant check on host status.

I turned on the HA function in my test cluster and was able to see the host status, such as the number of physical host systems connected to the current HA master. I was also able to see the number of protected and unprotected VMs and which data stores were selected during the set-up process to provide secondary communication between the hosts, as a backup to the management network. Almost all this configuration was performed behind the scenes by vSphere 5.0. I completed the HA setup in a matter of minutes in my test network.

Pulling the plug on various hosts resulted in the failover of VMs within the cluster as was expected.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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