I just started with a new company and am trying to move them to a virtual environment for redundancy. It is a 365/24/7 facility so HA would be very nice. However, I have to demonstrate the technology without spending any money first. I was wondering if it is possible to have two hosts running ESXi 5.1 Free, with one offline and the other connected to a Fibre Channel storage array and swap the Fibre channel if one host fails. Does the datastore become corrupt? Could I move the fibre patch cable to the other host and mount the data store to bring everything back up. Another reason for doing this is to consolidate the hardware we have, which is about 20 servers, but I will only run about 5 on the host. This will get rid of 3 servers that only do file sharing, secondary dc, and apps.
Welcome to the Community,
even the free edition allows simultaneous access to shared storage, which means you can zone and present the storage/LUNs to both hosts. Obviously you cannot power on the VM's at the same time, but you can - in case of a failure of the productive host - register the VM's to the backup host's inventory and power them on.
And to add Andre's answer you do have a 60 day evaluation license of the Enterprise Plus version where you can demonstate all features including HA, DRS and FT -
I dont really have all the equipment yet to really do the HA option, as I need another FC Switch for multipathing. Thank you for your response weinstein5. So if I have the LUN registered with both hosts, the datastore will not become corrupt if one goes down and the VM's are processing data?
No it will not become corrupt - another potential option to demonstrate functinality is to build out a test environment virtually using VMware Player
Great I will look into vmware player! Thank you so much for your help. I have always used hyper v and I'm trying to branch out to VMware but wanna understand it before jumping in too far.