This week on VMware’s Uptime Blog I noticed a new post asking for customer feedback about vCenter high availability requirements. To that end, VMware has posted a survey for customers to fill out to get more information. To be clear, the survey addresses high availability of the vCenter server itself and does not relate to VMware’s HA feature that is included in vSphere.
I’m happy to see VMware addressing this topic as it’s one I’ve been a little concerned about for a while. Julian Wood posted a long article over on his blog that discusses this issue in great detail, and Stu over at vinternals also discusses it in this post. The short version is this – as vCenter has matured over the years, more and more products and features have been integrated and ultimately rely on vCenter to work. Applications like View, AppSpeed, CapacityIQ, etc., all rely on vCenter to work and so protecting it has become very important.
I remember when vCenter (then VirtualCenter) first came out for ESX 2. There was little concern about VirtualCenter availability back then because you’d really only lose vMotion if the server went down. This was of course before DRS, HA, DPM, etc. Now that vCenter is a much more critical component of a vSphere environment, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure its uptime.
Using tools like VMware HA and vCenter Heartbeat can really help to improve availability, but is it enough? It sounds like VMware is curious what customers think, and so they’ve asked customers to fill out this survey. I’d encourage everyone to fill out the poll honestly so that VMware can understand their customer’s needs and work to improve vCenter in the future.