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This part of the lab is presented as a Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation. This will allow you to experience steps which are too time-consuming or resource intensive to do live in the lab environment. In this simulation, you can use the software interface as if you are interacting with a live environment.
The orange boxes show where to click, and the left and right arrow keys can also be used to move through the simulation in either direction.
The purpose of this module is to demonstrate how to enable vCenter HA.
vCenter HA is new feature that provides a new availability option for vCenter Server. By deploying a passive node to vCenter Server with synchronous replication, vCenter HA provides a 5-minute RTO for the vCenter Server application. In addition to the passive node there is also a witness node that provides mediation and prevents split brain. vCenter HA can be deployed within a site or even across sites. The passive and witness nodes are created by cloning the active node which prevents long initial synchronization times and gets the HA cluster up and running quickly. vCenter HA is completely independent of another high availability feature that is being worked on called PSC HA (Platform Services Controller High Availability). However, when used together, vCenter HA and PSC HA provide resiliency to vSphere that will provide value to many VMware customers.
vCenter HA can be deployed using two methods:
An additional ethernet adapter will be added to the Active vCenter Server node. We will need to provide some network settings for this adapter. This adapter will be used for communicating to the Passive and Witness nodes on a private network. The network provided in this interactive simulation is just used as an example. There are no specific requirements for this private cluster network other than all three nodes need to be able to communicate to each other and it is recommended that this network be a dedicated network just for VCHA.
Here we'll need to provide two additional IP addresses on the private cluster network for the Passive and Witness nodes. These IP addresses need to be on the same network as the IP address from the prior step (192.168.0.1/29).
In this particular lab environment DRS and Storage DRS are not enabled. If they were, we would likely just accept the default placement of the Passive and Witness VMs. DRS, by default, will automatically separate all three nodes and place them on different hosts and datastores if available. However, in this step, we will show you how to manually place the nodes if DRS is not available. The Active vCenter Server node is currently running on esx-01a.sddc.local and we will place the Passive node on esx-02a.sddc.local and the Witness onto esx-03a.sddc.local to ensure we are protected from a host failure.
Now we will repeat the previous process for the Witness Node.
This final screen is to review all the settings we've previously set. Upon clicking Finish we'll start the process of cloning the vCenter Server to create the Passive and Witness nodes.
This screen shows us more detailed information about the vPostgres database and appliance configuration. Notice that now the health of the cluster is Green as it takes a very short amount of time, typically, for the delta sync to complete.
One of the operations we can perform against the cluster is a planned failover. We'll initiate a planned failover and see how the cluster behaves. You might do this during planned maintenance or period testing to ensure failover is working properly.
Once the failover completes we'll be able to log back into the vSphere Web Client. At this point, vcsa-01a-peer is now the Active Node while vcsa-01a is now demoted to the Passive Node. At this point we can perform troubleshooting on the Passive Node or even replace it. Let's log back into vCenter Server and see what other operations we have available now that the failover operation has completed.
First, we'll log back in and look at the Monitoring are to make sure the failover was successful and we're showing all Green.
There are a few different operating modes for vCenter HA. Let's review those now.
This concludes the Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation: vCenter HA
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