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Advanced Configuration options for VMware High Availability for pre-5.0 (1006421)

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Purpose

In the majority of environments, VMware High Availability (HA) default settings do not need to be changed. However, depending on your specific environment you may need to modify some HA options. This article describes the different configuration options available and how to apply them.

Resolution

Note: Not all configuration variables work in all versions of VirtualCenter/vCenter Server. As new variables are introduced in newer releases, they remain throughout later versions.

Applying a VMware HA customization

To access the various customizations available:
  1. Login to vCenter Server with VMware Infrastructure/vSphere Client as an administrator.
  2. Right-click the Cluster in the Inventory and select Edit Settings.
  3. Click VMware HA.
  4. Click the Advanced Options button.
  5. Enter Option and Value fields as appropriate (see below).
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK again.
  8. Wait for the Reconfigure Cluster task to complete and then right-click the Cluster again from the Inventory.
  9. Click Properties.
  10. Disable VMware HA and wait for the Reconfiguration Cluster task(s) to complete.
  11. Right-click the cluster and Enable VMware HA to have the settings take effect.

VMware High Availability Advanced options

These settings are available in VirtualCenter 2.0.0 and above:
  • das.defaultfailoverhost = hostname 

    This option/value pair is used to set a preferred failover host, where hostname represents the short name of the preferred host. The host specified is used as the first choice in case of a failure. However, if there is insufficient capacity VMware HA automatically selects an alternate host.

  • das.isolationaddress = value 

    This option/value pair changes the default isolation address, where value represents the IP address that is to be used as the isolation address. By default the address used is the Default Gateway address for the ESX host because it is a highly available address. This address is queried as one of the items in determining if an isolation response has occurred on the host, thus if this parameter is changed be sure to use a reliable, highly available IP address with as few failure points between it and the ESX host as possible.
These settings are available in VirtualCenter 2.x and above:
  • das.failuredetectiontime = value

    This option/value pair changes the default failure detection timeout, where value represents the failure time in milliseconds. VMware HA uses this timeout in declaring an isolation response, and does not declare a host as isolated until this timeout has been reached without any heartbeats received. By default the default failure detection time is 15 seconds (15000 ms). However, another common alternative is 60 seconds (60000 ms).


  • das.usedefaultisolationaddress = value 

    This option/value pair disables the use of the default gateway as an isolation address, where value is either true or false. By default this value is set to true. This parameter is generally used in conjunction with the das.isolationaddress0 to das.isolationaddress9 parameter(s) listed below.

  • das.isolationaddress0 to das.isolationaddress9 = value

    These option/value pair(s) specify more than one alternate isolation address for VMware HA to use, where value represents the IP address to be used for isolation detection. When using more than one isolation address it is not recommended that the das.failuredetectiontime parameter be increased, as all isolation addresses are pinged in parallel. Also, although up to 10 different isolation addresses can be specified one or two addresses should be sufficient for proper failover detection. For more information on setting multiple isolation addresses, see Setting Multiple Isolation Response Addresses for VMware High Availability (1002117).

    Note: The
    das.isolationaddress parameter is still supported if you are not using more than one alternative isolation address.
These settings are available in VirtualCenter 2.5.0 and above:
  • das.powerOffOnIsolation = value 

    T
    his option/value pair overrides the default isolation response setting to shutdown all the virtual machines when an isolation response occurs, where value is either true or false. By default this value is set to true. If changed to false all virtual machines will remain powered on in case of isolation.

  • das.vmMemoryMinMB = value

    T
    his option/value pair overrides the default memory slot size value used for admission control for VMware HA, where value is the amount of RAM in MB to be used for the calculation if there are no larger memory reservations. By default this value is set to 256MB.

  • das.vmCpuMinMHz = value

    This option/value pair overrides the default CPU slot size value used for admission control for VMware HA, where value is the amount of CPU in MHz to be used for the calculation if there are no larger CPU reservations. By default this value is set to 256MHz.
These settings are available in VirtualCenter 2.5.0 Update 2 and above:
  • das.conservativeCpuSlot = value 

    This option/value pair reverts how conservative VMware HA is in regards to vCPU when calculating slot size for admission control, where value represents either a value of true or false. By default in VirtualCenter 2.5.0 Update 2 this option is false to make the admission control less conservative. If set to true it reverts to the behavior of admission control as it was VirtualCenter 2.5.0, and VirtualCenter 2.5.0 Update 1.

  • das.allowvMotionNetworks = value 

    This option/value pair allows vMotion networks to be considered for VMware HA usage, where value represents a value of true or false. This parameter enables a host that only has one Network card configured for management and vMotion combined to be properly configured for VMware HA. By default this value is false, and any vMotion network is ignored.

  • das.allowNetwork[...] 

    This option enables the use of port group names to control the networks used for HA. You can set the value to be "Service Console 2" or "Management Network" to use those port group names in the networking configuration.

This setting is available in VirtualCenter 2.5.0 Update 3 and above:

  • das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning = value 

    To suppress the message Host xxx currently has no management network redundancy, which appears if the Service Console does not have network redundancy configured properly on ESX hosts in the VMware High Availability (HA) cluster or if the warning appears for a host already configured in a cluster, set the VMware HA advanced option das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning to true and reconfigure VMware HA on that host. For further information, see KB 1004700.


    Note
    : It is recommended that the management network has redundancy, try to avoid implementing this unless it is not possible due to hardware constraints.
This setting is available in vCenter Server 4.x:
  • das.slotmeminmb

    This option defines the maximum bound on the memory slot size. If this option is used, the slot size is the smaller of this value or the maximum memory reservation plus memory overhead of any powered-on virtual machine in the cluster.

  • das.slotcpuinmhz

    This option defines the maximum bound on the CPU slot size. If this option is used, the slot size is the smaller of this value or the maximum CPU reservation of any powered-on virtual machine in the cluster.

Additional Information

For a list of supported advanced options, see the Customizing VMware HA Behavior section of the Availability Guide for your version of vSphere.
 
Note: For vSphere 5.0, see the Customizing vSphere HA Behavior section of the Availability Guide.

Tags

ha-advanced-options

See Also

Update History

04/13/2012 - Added link to the vSphere 5.0 Availability Guide 07/11/2012 - Added information that das.failuredetectiontime is not supported in vCenter Server 5.0 07/16/2012 - Added options das.slotmeminmb anddas.slotcpuinmhz for vCenter Server 4.x 03/06/2013 - Corrected solution information for das.slotcpuinmhz 06/21/2013 - Updated notes for das.failuredetectiontime and das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning settings

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