Clustering Virtual Center for Availability

I get questions from customer who want to setup some kind of redundancy for Virtual Center Server. Some run Virtual Center Server right in a VM but want a physical standby in case they loose the host, others want a cluster solution. This post hopefully answers a few questions you might have about doing this.

You can install another instance of Virtual Center, no problem. If the current VC server is unavailable just add the hosts to the new VC server. You will get a prompt that they are already managed by a VC but you can click OK and “steal” them. This prevents two VCs from managing one host and causing issues with the database.

You can also setup VC in a cluster. Virtual Center Server (the windows service) can be clustered using industry standard solutions, and only 1 license is required when only one instance is active at any given time. Active / Passive clustered configurations can be installed and configured to point to the same Virtual Center database (but only one instance should be active at any given time).

Active / Passive instances of the Virtual Center Management server will also require the following configuration settings to be equivalent-

  • Both should point to the same database (same ODBC connection setup)
  • Both should be set to the same “Virtual Center Server ID” (configured through the File->VC Settings menu).
  • Both should use the same public/private SSL keys (contained in the “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware\VirtualCenter\SSL” directory)
  • If VC WebService is enabled, both should use the same configuration file (located at “C:\DocumentsAndSettings\AllUsers\ApplicationData\VMware\VMwareVirtualCe
    nter\VMA\vmaConfig.xml”)
vSphere 7
vSphere 7

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