Overview: vCenter Server Heartbeat

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Overview: vCenter Server Heartbeat

Q3 2010

2

Agenda


Why is vCenter Server Availability Important?


What Needs to Be Protected?


Protecting vCenter with vCenter Server Heartbeat


3

vCenter Server: A Key Infrastructure Component

A universal hub for virtualization management

4

How Do You Use vCenter Server?


Monitor cluster, host and VM performance


Manage VM and host provisioning


Patch and update hosts and VMs


Configure and operate VMotion, DRS, HA and FT


Provision and manage a VMware VIEW environment


Manage disaster recover plans


Test / develop VMs and applications


Allow access for third party applications


5

Impact of Downtime
-

External vCenter Applications

7

Chargeback

Site Recovery
Manager

1


Lab Manager

2


VIEW Server /
Composer

3

CapacityIQ

4

AppSpeed

5

vCloud Director

6

vCenter Server

6

Impact of vCenter Server Downtime

Component

Impact Experienced

Virtual Machines

Management requires direct connections to host;
can’t provision new VMs from templates

ESX Servers

Management requires direct connections to host

Performance & Monitoring
Statistics

Historical records will have gaps during outages,
still available via ESX Servers

VMotion / Storage VMotion

Unavailable

VMware DRS

Unavailable

vCenter Plug
-

Ins

Unavailable

VMware HA

HA failover works, admission control unavailable

VMware View

Cannot provision new desktop instances

VMware vCloud Director

Cannot allocate resources or provision VMs

7

Agenda


Why is vCenter Server Availability Important?


What Needs to Be Protected?


Protecting vCenter with vCenter Server Heartbeat


8

Determining a Strategy


Define the Scope of Protection Desired


Which is most important?


Local high availability for hardware/network failures?


Protecting application integrity and uptime against all types of threats?


Remote disaster recovery for large scale, site
-
wide outages?


Is uptime during maintenance windows needed?


What is the recovery time objective?


Need to base this on what functionality is unavailable during vCenter Server
outage

9

How Do You Protect vCenter Server Today?


No protection


Keep a backup copy archived


Cold standby server


Clustering


VMware HA

10

Protecting vCenter Server

vCenter

Services

vCenter
Inventory

Standard DR Solution

vCenter Server

(Primary)

Replication of

state files

vCenter Server

(Standby)

Database Server

Database Server

11

What is required to restore vCenter functionality?


vCenter Server is an almost stateless application


Data stored in the vCenter database is the most critical resource


Following data is necessary to restore the vCenter functionality
(with intact database)


vCenter server IP Address


DNS name for ODBC connection


License files for the License Manager Server


Security Certificates


vCenter Configuration file


vCenter Plug
-
in data


Customized data from upgrade directory (if applicable)

12

Agenda


Why is vCenter Server Availability Important?


What Needs to Be Protected?


Protecting vCenter with vCenter Server Heartbeat


13

Solutions for Protecting vCenter Server


vCenter downtime greatly impacts productivity of VI Administrators


However, several options can be used to mitigate the potential for vCenter
Server downtime


The solution of choice will depend on level of protection desired and recovery
point objectives.

VMware Solutions

Third
-
Party Solutions


VMware HA


VMware vCenter Server
Heartbeat


Backup


Clustering


Host Replication

14

Overview: VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat


Extends availability for the vCenter Server platform


Add
-
on to vCenter Server protects critical components of the
infrastructure


Deep awareness of all vCenter Server components


Simple configuration and deployment


Replicates all data and transactions to a standby server


Failover of the application and database over the LAN or WAN


Best
-
of breed
-
technology


VMware has selected Neverfail to provide the underlying technology


Proven technology supports SQL, Exchange, Blackberry availability


vCenter Server Heartbeat is a VMware product and fully supported
by VMware



15

Complete Protection for vCenter Server

Hardware

Failures

Network

Failures

OS

Failures

Application

Failures

vCenter Server

vCenter Server Heartbeat

16

vCenter Server Heartbeat Architecture


Purely software
-
based

solution with no dependencies


Paired Servers with Shared
Nothing Architecture


Active/Passive clone


Hardware Agnostic


Physical & Virtual Support


Application Awareness (AMF)


Hardware and Software
Redundancy

17

What’s New in vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3


Unified management of multiple nodes


Manage availability for groups of vCenter Servers from a single UI


Distributed vCenter Servers and SQL databases can be managed as pairs


Simplified UI


Tree structure shows overall health and availability status of all servers


Easier
-
to
-
use interface for managing thresholds and alerts in Heartbeat


Extends Heartbeat protection to View Composer


Support for vCenter Server 4.1 and 4.0 Update 2


Improved platform support


native x64, Windows Server 2008 R2


18

vCenter Server Heartbeat: Improved User Interface

Simplified
hierarchy view
of all protected
services

Status information on
Primary Server

19

Comparing vCenter Server Heartbeat

Host
Replication

Heartbeat

Hardware & OS failures

Yes

Yes

Configuration Agnostic

Yes

Yes

WAN failover

Partial

Yes

Complexity

Medium
-
High

Low

Protects vCenter Server
components

No

Yes

Network failures

No

Yes

Deeper
more granular protection than
other solutions

20

vCenter Server Heartbeat: Defense in Depth

Breadth of workloads
supported

Depth of
HA
protection

Specific

All

Hardware
/OS

Complete

VMware
HA

vCenter
Heartbeat

Replication

Clustering

21

Summary: Why vCenter Server Heartbeat?


High availability for VC is growing in importance for customers
running VMware in production


Underlying infrastructure needs to be fully protected, especially for
VDI and cloud environments


HA provides robust general
-
purpose protection of virtualized
workloads


Need to protect against configuration errors, network failures, OS
failures, database failures with WAN failover support


Many customers run vCenter Server on a physical server


Other solutions are expensive, complex and lack app awareness,
support for database, WAN failover


Customers have been asking for a VMware solution that provides
more granular availability for vCenter Server