Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

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)

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One response to “Using VMware Fault Tolerance to Protect a Virtualized vCenter machine

  1. Harley Stagner November 30, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Great setup for demos and test/dev. However, keep in mind that the required / recommended number of cpu’s in vCenter is 2. 2 vCPU’s are not supported on a FT-enabled VM.

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