rucky
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Advatage / Disadvantageof MS cluster in VMware

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Hi Guys

I would like to hear your comments about running a MS cluster in VMware. Is it a good idea with all those HA/DRS - Dual controlers on SAN.

regards

Rucky

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Texiwill
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Leadership

Hello,

Moved to the Enterprise Strategy and Planning forum.

In some ways VMware HA makes clusters obsolete. Others not the case. To know will be determined by the use of the cluster more than anything else. If it is just for high availability, time how long it takes for a cluster failover to occur vs a VMware HA failover. There are other types of clusters as well, which is in use makes a difference.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill

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TiJa
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

Regardless of some configuration caveats of MS clusters in the virtual world, it can definitly be a good idea to use them. You have to see MS clustering as an additional tool to provide higher availability of a service. It can be useful in several circumstances:

  • HA works only in a single ESX cluster - with MS cluster you can provide high availability across ESX clusters if you want to

  • HA protects against ESX host failures & can detect Windows BSOD'. It doesn't detect "service failures", which you can use MS clustering for

  • vMotion & maintenance mode can protect you when you have to do hardware maintenance or ESX maintenance on the host. MS clustering allows you to fail over your services if you have to do OS maintenance (e.g. patching, upgrades, ...).

You can probably write tons of pages on the advantages, differences, technical caveats. I think the short summary is that HA/vMotion and MS clusters work on different levels and can coexist to give you an even higher level of availability.

Hope this helps!

Tim

Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

Moved to the Enterprise Strategy and Planning forum.

In some ways VMware HA makes clusters obsolete. Others not the case. To know will be determined by the use of the cluster more than anything else. If it is just for high availability, time how long it takes for a cluster failover to occur vs a VMware HA failover. There are other types of clusters as well, which is in use makes a difference.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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rucky
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Tex

Thanks i have decided not to go for a cluster and go for a file server as we can use VMware HA.

could you advise me if i need to keep the data on RDM or VMFS which one will better perfomance/backup options

regards

rucky

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Texiwill
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Leadership

Hello,

I use a virtual RDM for my file server and since it is virtual every form of backup mechanism works with it. As for performance whether you use a VMDK or a RDM there is no real performance difference. It is really a manageability question. For VMs with disks > 200GBs or so I prefer RDMs.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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azn2kew
Champion
Champion

VMware HA is not 100% redundant because it only provide protection of hardware failure. For best practicies, MS clustering is a great solution from an application services perspective especially Exchange, SQL etc...Marathon has Neverfail features but it base on Citrix only. There is no differences in RDM/VMFS performance and I've been using 1TB RDM for my file servers and it works fine.

Unless you can wait, I've heard vSphere and vCenter 4.0 has better redundancies on all areas so check them out. In the meantime, implement MS Cluster best practices for VMware environment. FYI: There is a max of 16 hosts in a cluster and their are 5 primary nodes and the rest are secondary nodes. ESX HA clusters only allow you to have 4 to failed at one time.

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!

Regards,

Stefan Nguyen

iGeek Systems Inc.

VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Consultant

If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!! Regards, Stefan Nguyen VMware vExpert 2009 iGeek Systems Inc. VMware vExpert, VCP 3 & 4, VSP, VTSP, CCA, CCEA, CCNA, MCSA, EMCSE, EMCISA
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mreferre
Champion
Champion

You might be interested in this post:

http://it20.info/blogs/main/archive/2008/03/26/102.aspx

Massimo.

Massimo Re Ferre' VMware vCloud Architect twitter.com/mreferre www.it20.info
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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

VMware HA will also protect against VM failures these days. Its a configuration option.


Best regards,
Edward L. Haletky
VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009
====
Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.
Blue Gears and SearchVMware Pro Blogs -- Top Virtualization Security Links -- Virtualization Security Round Table Podcast

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2022,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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cjt
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Personally, I have always found MSCS painful to implement in a virtual world.

having said that - this was a couple of years ago (ESX3.0.x)

I would wait for vSphere and the release of FT.

Maybe not for use in all situations (ie. high compute requirement), as we'll have to see what restrictions are present on GA.

but given time I can see this technology replacing the need for MSCS.

http://www.virtualization.info/2008/10/vmware-fault-tolerance-overview-and.html

Chris Troiani Technology Consultant, EMC VMware Affinity Team
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