vCenter HA Failover Scenarios

This post should hopefully help you understand what is and what is not protected by VCHA and also what to expect depending on the situation.

For more on VCHA please see my previous posts:

vCenter HA Gotcha’s

vSphere 6.5 Feature Preview: vCenter High Availability

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vCenter HA Gotcha’s (vSphere 6.5)

There are a few gotcha’s and known issues that I have found with vCenter HA. Hopefully the following will be of use and avoid the need to engage VMware Support to resolve.

For more on VCHA please see my previous post which also includes short videos of both deployment methods.

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vSphere 6.5 Feature Preview: vCenter High Availability

vcha_1

One of the most anticipated features of vSphere 6.5 is native high availability for vCenter Server. No additional product like vCenter Server Heartbeat or no third party feature like MSCS/WFCS is needed.

The first thing to point out is that this feature is exclusive for the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.

Windows vCenter Server 6.5 will still support MSCS/WFCS to provide high availability.

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vSphere 6.5 Feature Preview: vCenter Server Appliance

The vCenter Server Appliance has come a long way from it’s first iteration way back with vSphere 5.0. A moment of silence for the VCSA 5.0 with embedded DB2 database.

With the vSphere 6.5 release, the vCenter Server Appliance not only gains 100% parity with it’s Windows counterpart, but actually now exceeds it with some exclusive features.

You can interpret the fact that the VCSA is now getting exclusive features however you want to.

Please don’t ask me “Is the Windows vCenter going away?” – because I honestly don’t know the answer.

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Handling vCenter Server Migration failure scenarios

If a migration fails or you wish to roll back a successful migration then the basic steps are as follows:

1 Shutdown the Appliance 6.0 that has resulted from the migration

2 Power on the original source Windows  5.5 machine

3. The Windows machine will have lost it’s trust with the Active Directory Domain so you may need to log into the Windows machine as a local Administrator and re-join the Active Directory Domain and reboot the Windows machine.

Note: This is because the resulting vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 will have overwritten the Windows vCenter computer account on the AD.

Important: If you have other solutions that have been upgrade for compatibility with vSphere 6.0 these may cease to work after the rollback and would need to be rolled back themselves. This includes ESXi 6.0 as this is not manageable from a vCenter Server 5.5. Also be careful that you do not have Virtual Machines running Hardware Version 11 as these VMs cannot run on ESXi 5.5 or older.

I’ll go into a little more detail on different typologies as the larger and more distributed the environment the more caution and planning is needed

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vCenter Server 5.5 Windows to Appliance 6.0 Migration

At long last the much anticipated vCenter Server Windows to Appliance Migration utility has arrived.

Download https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=VC60U2M&productId=577&rPId=1240

Dubbed vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2m (no prize for guessing what the M stands for)

This first release allows you to migrate a Windows based vCenter Server 5.5 environment to a vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U2 environment.

Important: You cannot perform a horizontal migration. i.e. You cannot migrate a Windows vCenter Server 6.0 to a vCenter Server 6.0 Appliance. It must be a migrate and upgrade.

Also you cannot change topology during a migration. i.e. A vCenter Server 5.5 with Embedded SSO will result in a vCenter Server 6.0 with Embedded PSC

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