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Enabling fast auto-switchover on vCenter Servers with remote databases when the public NIC is lost (1027289)

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This provides steps to configure vCenter Server protected with vCenter Server Heartbeat using a remote database to enable fast auto-switchover when heartbeat detects the public Network Interface Card (NIC) has been lost.


When vCenter Server loses the connection to its remote database, by default it continues to poll the remote database to re-establish the connection for 1800s. The failure of a public NIC on vCenter Servers protected by vCenter Server Heartbeat can trigger an auto-switchover to the passive server thereby restoring vCenter Server operations. An auto-switchover relies on the timely stopping of vCenter Server services, which do not stop while vCenter Server is polling for the missing database until a time-out is reached.
To enable vCenter Server Heartbeat to stop vCenter Server and complete the auto-switchover event, reduce the default maxDatabaseDowntime setting.
Note: vCenter Server Heartbeat has a default timeout setting, which if reached, forces the switchover and stops replication in the reverse direction. You then need to stop the vCenter Server services on the passive machine before restarting replication manually.
To reduce the maxDatabaseDowntime setting:
  1. On the Active Server, edit the vpxd.cfg file and specify the number of seconds for maxDatabaseDowntime and number of milliseconds between retries:


    • The default location of the vpxd.cfg file is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\. In Windows 2008, the default location is C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\.
    • This vpxd.cfg change is only applicable to MS SQL databases.

  2. To apply these changes, restart vCenter Server.
  3. Configure the vCenter Server Heartbeat application timeout value to 3 minutes:
    1. Launch the vCenter Server Heartbeat Console.
    2. Navigate to Applications: Summary.
    3. Select VMware VirtualCenter in the Application pane.
    4. Click Edit.
    5. Modify the Stop Timeout value to reflect 180 seconds.
    6. Click OK.

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