The original vCenter Server 5.5 Availability Guide was published in December 2014.
With the End of Availability of vCenter Server Heartbeat guidance was provided on how to monitor and protect vCenter. Due to the need for additional protection, we have internally validated using Windows Server Failover Clustering for protection of vCenter services. Improved SLAs can be attained with this clustering solution. The update provides step-by-step guidance to deploy this solution to protect vCenter 5.5
As you dive into the inner-workings of the new version of VMware vSphere (aka ESXi), one of the gems you will discover to your delight is the enhanced virtual machine portability feature that allows you to vMotion a running pair of clustered Windows workloads that have been configured with shared disks.
I pause here now to let you complete the obligatory jiggy dance. No? You have no idea what I just talked about up there, do you? Let me break it down for you:
In vSphere 6.0, you can configure two or more VMs running Windows Server Failover Clustering (or MSCS for older Windows OSes), using common, shared virtual disks (RDM) among them AND still be able to successfully vMotion any of the clustered nodes without inducing failure in WSFC or the clustered application. What’s the big-deal about that? Well, it is the first time VMware has ever officially supported such configuration without any third-party solution, formal exception, or a number of caveats. Simply put, this is now an official, out-of-the-box feature that does not have any exception or special requirements other than the following:
The VMs must be in “Hardware 11” compatibility mode – which means that you are either creating and running the VMs on ESXi 6.0 hosts, or you have converted your old template to Hardware 11 and deployed it on ESXi 6.0
The disks must be connected to virtual SCSI controllers that have been configured for “Physical” SCSI Bus Sharing mode
And the disk type *MUST* be of the “Raw Device Mapping” type. VMDK disks are *NOT* supported for the configuration described in this document.