beezleinc
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

vSAN licensing for 2-node and vCenter Foundation

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I understand that the 2-node + witness scenario is supported with any license type of vSAN (Standard, Advanced or Enterprise)

I also understand that the witness node appliance doesn't count toward vSphere licenses inside vCenter

What I want is to run 2 separate 2-node + witness clusters for a total of 6 hosts (4 vsphere and 2 witnesses)

Can I load 2 witnesses and the  4 vSphere hosts inside vCenter Foundation and not have it complain about licenses?

I have this scenario built and working with the all eval licenses but they allow everything.  I don't want to buy vCenter Foundation just to have then kick out one or both witness hosts.

Anyone every try this setup?

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello beezleinc​,

Thanks for reminding me - after you asked before I spent longer than I would care to admit absolutely wrecking a HOL cluster trying to get multiple Witnesses going without ova available to no avail :smileylaugh: .

Configured a 6.5 U2 environment today and there is no problem with adding 2 Witnesses + 4 hosts to inventory with Foundation license vCenter - didn't test adding more than 2 Witnesses but fails as expected when trying to add 5th host:

pastedImage_0.png

Bob

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beezleinc
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Oh, this is 6.7U1 where vCenter Foundation does support up to 4 vSphere hosts.  🙂

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

The vSAN witness doesn't require ESXi host/CPU licenses, but it counts as a host against the 4 host maximum in the Foundation edition. That's actually a reason why new versions of vCenter Server Foundation support up to 4 hosts rather than 3 as in the past.


André

beezleinc
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks but release note from 6.5 suggests that the witness can be added above and beyond the vCenter capacity... at least for Essentials version.    It sort of implies that if I add the two witness appliances first, I can add the 4 vSphere hosts to Foundation and it will take them.   Obviously I can't try this since I don't own Foundation.  Maybe this is just an essentials things idk.

Licensing Issues

  • Cannot add witness virtual machine to vCenter Server with Essentials licenseWhen the witness host for a stretched cluster is an appliance that resides in a virtual machine, it incorrectly consumes a host license. This problem occurs because the vCenter Server considers the witness appliance to be a physical host. If your license does not cover an additional host, you cannot add the witness appliance to vCenter Server.Workaround: Add the witness appliance VM to vCenter Server before you add the physical hosts.
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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

I guess I have to apologize for the previous answer.

This was indeed an issue that has been fixed in vSphere 6.5 U2, and 6.7 U1 (see VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 Release Notes ).


André

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello beezleinc

Just to confirm - it's not just an Essentials thing, it applies to Foundation edition too:

Adding a fifth (virtual) ESXi host to vCenter Foundation - Yellow Bricks

And yes, shouldn't need to explicitly add Witness(es) first anymore in later builds as this is fixed.

Bob

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beezleinc
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thank you, that is my understanding as well ...  my concern is adding two witnesses and four hosts to Foundation vCenter....  for six total nodes (2 separate 2-node+witness clusters)   Or is the fix just for that 'fifth' host.  I just can't find that written down anywhere and I don't have the license to test it myself.

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello beezleinc​,

Yes, I did think about that and wonder whether there is a limit at all and am fairly sure we don't have that written down anywhere externally.

I should have some Foundation licenses on hand, give me a bit and I will try test this on HOL - though if that starts having a panic attack from using cloned Witness VMs (no OVFs there that I am aware of) I will have to reproduce it on labs at work.

Bob

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beezleinc
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Bob.  Just curious if you had a chance to try this configuration out with Foundation.  Thanks in advance!

-a

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TheBobkin
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello beezleinc​,

Thanks for reminding me - after you asked before I spent longer than I would care to admit absolutely wrecking a HOL cluster trying to get multiple Witnesses going without ova available to no avail :smileylaugh: .

Configured a 6.5 U2 environment today and there is no problem with adding 2 Witnesses + 4 hosts to inventory with Foundation license vCenter - didn't test adding more than 2 Witnesses but fails as expected when trying to add 5th host:

pastedImage_0.png

Bob

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beezleinc
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Very cool.  Thank you sir!     So Foundation vCenter will support two (2)  2-node+witness clusters.  This is good info to know.

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