As experienced virtualization professionals know, the most critical tier of a VMware Infrastructure is not the virtualization host, ESX Server, but the management server, VirtualCenter, which provision, coordinates and moves all virtual machines. Despite that VMware offers some high availability capabilities for ESX Server but nothing to protect VirtualCenter.
Luckily VMware made VirtualCenter a cluster-aware application since version 2.0.1 patch 2, which allows customers to use industry standard products to achieve fault tolerance.
Next Monday The Neverfail Group, a VMware Technology Partner, will launch its own solution to the problem: Neverfail for VMware VirtualCenter.
The product is much more sophisticated than Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS), monitoring the healt of the hardware, network infrastructure, operating system and the management service as well. As soon as the fault is recognized it fails over VirtualCenter on another physical host, without service interruption.
At the same time it’s less demanding than MSCS, not requiring a shared storage facility to work.