vCenter Server 6.5 High Availability (VCHA)

vmware-vcsa-ha

We will discuss about the High Availability feature for vCenter 6.5 and the architecture of VCHA as below diagram. The following is listed some prerequisites for vCenter High Availability (VCHA) ,

  • An instance of the vCenter Server Appliance deployed.
  • Add 2nd vNIC into vCenter Server Appliance Active node, which is used for vCenter HA Network.
  • Deploy all three nodes on separate datatores. (Highly recommended)
  • At the least three ESXi hosts to deploy the three nodes.
  • A public IP Address that will be used to connect to the active node.
  • Three private IP addresses for Active, Passive and Witness, which is used for replication and internal communication called vCenter HA Network.
  • Separate port group for vCenter HA Network, its network subnet is different with vCenter management network.

01

Let go to my lab environment,

Virtual Machines
VMware vCenter Server Appliance
VMware vCenter Server Appliance-peer
VMware vCenter Server Appliance-witness

Network Port Group
vCenter_Public (Management)
vCenter_HA (vCenter HA)

Datastores
3PAR_DS2
3PAR_DS3
3PAR_DS4

vCenter IP Address
VMware vCenter Server Appliance
10.2.2.181 – vNIC1
10.2.1.181 – vNIC2
VMware vCenter Server Appliance-peer
10.2.2.181 – vNIC1
10.2.1.183 – vNIC2
VMware vCenter Server Appliance-witness
10.2.2.181 – vNIC1
10.2.1.184 – vNIC2

Now we start to configure vCenter HA feature, first go to configuration tab on vCenter server and choose vCenter HA, then click Configure button.

09

You can select two configuration options, Basic Configuration and Advanced Configuration.

10

Basic Configuration
1. Firstly you deploy the first vCenter Server Appliance, which will become the Active node.
2. Adds second network for vCenter HA on each ESXi host.
3. Starts the vCenter HA configuration, provide the IP addresses, the target ESXi host or cluster, and the datastore for Passive node and Witness.
4. The system clones a Passive node with the same settings from Active node
5. The system clones a Witness node with the same settings from Active node.
6. The system sets up the vCenter HA private network on three nodes. Finally vCenter Server Appliance is protected by vCenter HA.

Advanced Configuration
1. Firstly you deploy the first vCenter Server Appliance, which will become the Active node.
2. Adds second network for vCenter HA on each ESXi host.
3. Adds a second network adapter (vNIC) to the Active node.
4. Starts the vCenter HA configuration, selects Advanced, and provides IP address for the Passive and Witness nodes. NOTE: Don’t click the finish button.
5. Manually clones two vCenter Server Appliance from Active node in vCenter Server.
6. Return to the configuration wizard on the vCenter Server Appliance and completes the configuration process.
7. The system sets up the vCenter HA private network on three nodes. Finally vCenter Server Appliance is protected by vCenter HA.

In this demonstration, I select Basic configuration, input the IP address (vCenter HA Network) for Passive node and Witness. Then next.

11

Select the Center HA network (port group) and the target datastores for Passive node and Witness. Then next.

13

After review the summary, clicks Finish button. It starts to clone Passive node and Witness from Active node.

14

15

After the configuration, you can see the status of three nodes display UP. The vCenter HA is successfully completed.

17

vCenter HA failover test

Active Node changes to Down status once when it power down, and vCenter service failover to Passive node and keeps it running.

18

20

When the Passive node power on, it changes to Up status again.

21

If you want to manually initiate failover to Passive Node, you can click “Initiate Failover” button.

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About Victor Wu

My name is Victor. I hope to be your friend.
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