My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
Using VMware Fault Tolerance to Protect a Virtualized vCenter machine
In my lab I have a virtualized vCenter installation, it works well and I’ve had no problems with this configuration in the last year.
I wanted to try to build a 2 node demo cluster for my VMUG session and needed vCenter to be protected by FT – so an individual host failure would not break vCenter during my demos.
My vCenter installation was thin-provisioned which isn’t compatible with FT so the quickest solution I found to this was to just clone it to a new VM with a fully provisioned (thick) disk.
Once completed I powered up the cloned vCenter installation whilst quickly switching off the old one to avoid any IP conflicts this worked fine and the ESX hosts didn’t really notice, I just had to re-connect my vSphere client.
I then enabled the FT features and after doing its thing I have a fully protected ESX/vCenter installation using FT.
it’s worth noting that you can only enable FT when using a vSphere client connected to vCenter – you can’t enable it if you connect directly to the ESX host itself (which is why cloning was the easiest approach for me)