Sep 12 2009

VMware View Higher Levels of Availability

I have been working with VMware View since version 2.0, and I have to admit that VMware has made significant improvements on version 3.1.

The Connection Broker availability has always been a point of discussion so VMware released a replica server mode. It works with ADAM  (Active Directory Application Mode) that is replicated to a secondary server and vice-versa. Despite that will solve the problems for most of the administrators I was imagining how I could improve the design proposed by VMware.

I am administrating a large VSphere cluster and another small VI3 cluster (only two ESXi hosts). Due to application compatibility VMView had to stay on VI3 and this cluster is now dedicated to VMView as everything else has already been migrated to VSphere. (VMware promised compatibility with VSphere until the end of year).

I decided than to migrate the Connection Broker VM and it’s replica to the VSphere cluster (Note that the Connection Broker application is still talking to the VI3 Infrastructure Server despite the VM was now on VSphere). Once that was completed I enabled FT (Fault Tolerance) for both VMs. I than had 2 Connection Brokers (primary and replica)  running in High Availability, DRS and Fault Tolerance modes.

That was a good idea to achieve higher levels of high availability however there is a caveat – FT has a physical limit of a single vCPU and depending on your environment you may need extra processing power.

The question lies here – Assuming you have a VSphere cluster and no extra vCPU is needed, could you run Connection Broker without replica and with FT enabled while achieving same or higher levels of high availability?

In my opinion, Yes. Looks like VMware just killed Replica Mode with new VSphere FT feature.

In our environment we use Cisco CCS to load-balance the traffic but speaking to our network administrator I found out we only have a single appliance – so all the work was going down the drain as we would still have a single point of failure. I guess we need to review the design.

Have Fun and Break a Leg

Leave a Reply