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.