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VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat FAQ (2044902)

Purpose

This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about VMware vCenter Heartbeat.

Resolution

What are the benefits of using VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat is used to provide high availability for VMware vCenter Server in case of hardware, network, application, and OS failure.


Where can I download VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

You can download VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat on the VMware download page.

How do I install VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

For information on installing vCenter Server Heartbeat, see the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Documentation page.

What deployment method is used for VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?
  • Recommended deployment methods: P2V and V2V
  • Supported deployment method: P2P
VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat can be deployed in a LAN or WAN.


What are the protection levels that VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat provides?

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat monitors server availability, applications and application performance, network and server performance, and data protection.


What vCenter Server components can be protected with VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See page 17 of the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat installation guide, Installation on Windows Server 2008 When the Secondary Server is Virtual.


How do active and passive servers work?

Protected applications are running on active servers and services can be accessed by service name or public IP. Passive servers can be accessed by the management IP. Protected services are not running on passive servers. The server role can be changed from an active server to a passive server using manual failover.

A public IP is packet-filtered on passive servers and is passthrough when it becomes active.


How does VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat communicate?

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat supports multi or single NIC configurations.

Public IP address: This IP address is used by a client to connect to an active server and move between primary and secondary servers in the event of a failover or switchover.

Channel IP address: This is for communication between the active and passive servers. This is used for control and data transfer from an active to passive server, and monitoring of an active server's status.

In a WAN, static routes are used over switches to maintain continuous communication.

Management IP address: This address is used to access servers in a passive role. In a multi NIC configuration, one NIC will have the Public IP and Management IP addresses, and another NIC will have the channel IP address. In a single NIC configuration, all IP addresses are on the same NIC.

Also see: Implementing vCenter Server Heartbeat on a single subnet using dual NICs (1036355)


What are the requirements for a WAN environment?

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat supports sites with different subnets. In a WAN, the primary and secondary servers will have unique IP addresses in each subnet. Requirements are:
  • A routable IP address for the channel network
  • Minimum of 1 MB of spare bandwidth available
  • Ability to add/remove DNS hostname records
For more information, see:

How do I upgrade VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat from a previous version?

See:
How do I install and uninstall VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat packet filter drivers?
For more information on packet filters, see the Working with packet filters in vCenter Heartbeat post on the VMware Support Insider blog.


How do I apply Windows patches with VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat installed?

See Applying operating system patches or hotfixes with minimal interrupt when using vCenter Server Heartbeat (1010803)


How do I apply Service Packs to protected SQL Server?

See Upgrading and applying Service Packs to SQL Server protected by vCenter Server Heartbeat when the vCenter Server database is remote from the vCenter Server (1034077)


What databases can be protected with VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat can protect Microsoft SQL Server, but cannot protect Oracle and IBM DB2 databases.

You can protect Microsoft SQL Server whether it is local to the vCenter Server or on a separate (remote) server with the same VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat license.

For more information, see vCenter Server Heartbeat SQL Server Plug-in Feature List (2041620).


Can I protect VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) with VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See Using vCenter Heartbeat With SRM (1014266)


How do I protect View components using VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See Installing and protecting View Composer after vCenter Server Heartbeat is installed (1034079)


How do I adjust protected applications and data?

See:

How do I join or isolate a vCenter Server instance from a Linked Mode Group when it is protected by VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See Joining or isolating a vCenter Server instance from a Linked Mode Group when protected by vCenter Server Heartbeat (1022869)


How do I use custom SSL certificates with VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See Replacing the SSL certificate in vCenter Server Heartbeat with a new certificate (2013041)


Where are the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat executables located?

See Locating the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat executables and icons (1030677)


How do I configure alerts in VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See Configuring and testing alerts in VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat (1008607)


How do I collect VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat logs?

See Retrieving the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Logs and other useful information for support purposes (1008124)


Do I need a separate license for VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat for a remote SQL Server database?

Only a single vCenter Server Heartbeat license is required to protect vCenter Server components installed remotely, including SQL Server. A single license is also used for multiple SSO servers for protected vCenter Server services. One license is required per instance of vCenter Server.


Where can I find the documentation for VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat?

See the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Documentation page and the vCenter Heartbeat Installation and Validation post on the VMware Support Insider blog.

Update History

06/05/2013 - Added link to the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Documentation page

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