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vSphere – Fault Tolerance

April 27th, 2009

Been busy putting together a case on why its a good idea to take advantage of VMware’s current vSphere  upgrade deal. For those who are not aware, you can upgrade Standard to Advanced for $795 per CPU. This roughly a 50% discount over the normal upgrade price and is only available until the 15th December this year.

So, as I was putting the benefits case together I was busy drafting out the description of the new fault tolerance feature and selling it as one of the big bonuses. Now I’m very much into the technical aspects of what I do and sometimes get bogged down in the details when trying to make a benefits case. So I went looking for a video which would undoubtley explain it better at management level. So here it is, VMware CTO Steve Herrod explains VMware Fault Tolerance in relatively plain english.

Now for those like me, who do want to know the technical detail, the following link Fault Tolerance 800 x 600 Demo is to a high quality video demonstration of the new Fault Tolerance feature in vSphere.

A word of warning though,   I found a significant caveat on VMware’s Fault Tolerance web page!  It only supports VMs with a single virtual CPU.  This is bad news because I was looking at this as a potential solution to protect an  exchange server which I very much doubt will have a single vCPU.  You can find said Caveat at the bottom of the Fault Tolerance feature page. I’m busy trying to find out from the community at large if there are any timelines on increasing the limit on this.

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  • Ed

    Thats a huge ommision!
    I sure hope its somehting addressed shortly, sort of goes against touting support for more cpu's at the same time.


  • http://www.virtualpro.co.uk Virtualpro

    It is a Hug ommission, I stuck it out there on Twitter asking what people thought and a few came back commenting on the fact that they hadn't spotted it

  • http://www.stratus.com Kenneth Donoghue

    The fact that VMware's ft product is limited to running on a single core per server is not limited to them. This has always been an issue for software-based fault tolerance on X86. Don't expect the technology hurdles to be cleared anytime soon. In a VMworld environment, the strongest solution for continuous availability is its HA product running on fault-tolerant hardware.

  • http://www.virtualpro.co.uk Virtualpro

    Hi Kenneth

    Thanks for your comments, I saw the Fujitsu / Stratus offering at VMworld in 2007 and really like the idea, I recommended it as a solution for an exchange solution but they went with software based replication instead.

    I'll try and take the time to familiarise myself with the Stratus product range again.