It’s amazing how many customers have embraced VMware and virtualization in general (that is: VMware) just for the purpose of “out-of-the-box” High Availability and Disaster Recovery features. I remember I have met customers for example that have “n Blades” with “n Windows Hosts” with “n VMware GSX installs” with “n Windows Guest OSes” ……. just for the purpose to backup the minidisk files over night and send them off site for DR purposes. This customer did not even bother about “consolidation” (VMware – Consolidation is usually the primary association most of the people would still think of), they just care about using virtualization for mere resiliency purposes.
Another good one I have been involved with was a customer that has done a very precise analysis about the total number of physical hosts deployed to determine which should have remained physical and which could have been virtualized. All of a sudden they decided to put everything on virtual machines ……… just because they didn’t know how to implement a DR plan for the to-remain-physical servers. This was a very interesting fact.
But I am digressing here. On February 2006 I have presented at an EMEA Symposium a couple of HA / DR experience that I wanted to share with the community as I appreciate this is a hot topic.
You can get the deck here.
As I have disclaimed in the download section already consider that this was in the 2.5.x timeframe so things have changed a bit; the main difference / advantage now is that ALL files (including vmx files etc) are hosted on the SAN so you don’t need to deal with them being deployed physically on the hosts. However I have always said that VMware deployments could solve 95% of the technology issues associated to HA and specifically DR. That 5% as of today remains unresolved and it’s usually in the area of automation.
I hope you find it of value for your own business.