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Virtual Infrastructure High Availability: Upgrades and Best Practices

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  1. Virtual Infrastructure High Availability: Upgrades and Best Practices Presented by David Davis, VCP, CCIE Director of Infrastructure,

  2. Who Is David Davis? Director of Infrastructure Train Signal, Inc -- the leader in Professional IT video training courses Over 15 years in enterprise infrastructure management and years of real-world virtualization experience Have obtained the following certifications: CCIE#9369, VCP, MCSE and CISSP

  3. Author of six video training courses and hundreds of articles for well-known websites such as: and Best known for my Train Signal VMware ESX Server video training course Best of VMworld 2008 Awards Judge Company website: Personal website: Who Is David Davis?

  4. Abstract Worries over the availability of virtual infrastructures are being put to rest by rapid improvements in virtual high availability (HA). It’s time for many organizations to update their virtual HA architectures and implement state of the art IT best practices.

  5. In this session, HA best practices for virtualization are covered, along with available tools that allow organizations to take their virtual infrastructures beyond simple failover to application level orchestration and automation. We will cover high availability options and best practices, load balancing, localized HA, geographical HA, third-party HA applications and failover scenarios. Abstract

  6. The following topics are also discussed in this session: What options are available to prevent downtime when failures occur? Understanding virtualization load balancing and dynamic migration of virtual machines Understanding virtualization high availability and disaster recovery Abstract

  7. What I Assume You Already Know Assumptions… Good understanding of server virtualization concepts May or may not already be using virtualization Have, or will have, an application that demands high availability

  8. By The End Of The Session, You’ll Know The Following: Understanding of HA components HA options like load balancing, localized and Geo HA What is new in HA HA Tools in virtualization platforms Third-party products available for HA HA best practices for virtualization

  9. FUD Do you have fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about your server availability? YES Does virtualization pile more eggs in your one basket? YES (Does that create more FUD)? YES Can HA ease FUD? YES

  10. FUD Virtualization is great in test and dev, but there’s no way I’m deploying virtualization in production without a high availability solution. If that virtualization server goes down and I don’t have a HA solution in place, I will lose my job.

  11. HA State Of The Union Just about everyone is using virtualization Most aren’t using virtualization to its full ability That “ability” is expanding every day HA and Load Balancing are a huge benefit -- are including and work with all apps

  12. Understanding HA: What is High Availability? Let’s define… High availability is a system design protocol and associated implementation that ensures a certain absolute degree of operational continuity during a given measurement period. In other words, you have low unplanned downtime.

  13. What Percent Are You “Available”?

  14. Understanding HA Virtualization Guest Encapsulation

  15. Understanding HA Virtualization Guest Encapsulation

  16. Understanding HA -- Terminology Localized and Geographical High Availability Load balancing vs. resource scheduling Application vs. Server Clustering vs. Failover

  17. Understanding HA -- VMware VMotion

  18. Understanding HA -- VMware DRS

  19. Understanding HA -- VMware HA (VMHA)

  20. Understanding HA -- Components Of HA Software Examples: VMHA, vLockStep, VMotion and third-party Hardware Shared storage -- SAN (iSCSI or Fibre Channel) Servers

  21. Understanding HA -- Forms Of Clustering

  22. Options Available To Prevent Downtime Host clustering / load balancing Windows Server Clustering Third-party Virtualization high availability VMware High Availability and vLockStep Microsoft Quick Migration Third-party

  23. What’s New With Virtualization High Availability? VMware’s vLockStep Rumors of Microsoft Live Migration (Nessie) VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) New third-party solutions Better use of HA features that you may already have P2V HA Clustering

  24. HA Tools: Using Windows Hyper-V Quick And Live Migration Quick Migration -- guests moved but restarted Live Migration (coming soon) -- guests moved and not restarted (competing with VMotion?) QM and LM compared at: Today, no VMotion, SVMotion or VMHA

  25. HA Tools: Using VMware VMotion and SVMotion VMHA, DRS and Update Manager are dependant on VMotion Nothing to configure but compatibility and knowing the rules are important VMotion and SVMotion can be used manually to prevent downtime

  26. HA Tools: Using VMware VMHA Built into VMware and VI Easy to configure Can support all applications Guest VMs must restart Creates HA but still has downtime and potential for application issues

  27. HA Tools: Using VMware vLockStep For a given primary VM, run a secondary VM on a different host Sharing virtual disks with primary Secondary VM kept in “virtual lockstep” via logging info sent over private network connection Only primary VM sends and receives network packets, secondary is “Passive” If primary host fails, secondary VM takes over with no interruption to applications! Virtual Lockstep vLockStep info and graphics are thanks to VMware

  28. vLockstep and HA features work together Mission-critical VMs protected by vLockStep and VMHA, remaining VMs protected by VMHA only HA Tools: Using VMware vLockStep X VMware FT VMware FT VMware FT X VMware HA X Resource Pool vLockStep info and graphics are thanks to VMware

  29. User selects VM on which to enable FT Secondary VM is automatically created that shares disk with primary When primary VM is powered on, secondary VM is started on another host via special kind of VMotion Secondary VM keeps in virtual lockstep If the primary host goes down, the secondary VM will “go live” and become the primary VM VMware HA automatically starts another secondary VM to restore redundancy Secondary VM powers off when primary does or when FT is disabled HA Tools: Using VMware vLockStep Virtual Lockstep vLockStep info and graphics are thanks to VMware

  30. Third-Party Tools For HA: Double Take for VMware Infrastructure and Virtual Systems INSERT INFO

  31. Third-Party Tools For HA: Marathon everRun for Server Virtualization -- Best of Vmworld 2007 -- but for Citrix XenServer everRun for Windows Servers everRun for Geographical DR INSERT INFO

  32. Third-Party Tools For HA: Neverfail For VMware Virtual Center And Servers INSERT INFO

  33. Best Practices For Virtualization HA HA best practices for virtualization Gotchas -- for VM HA to work you must have same CPU on each host or use CPU masking ** ** INSERT INFO

  34. Recommendations / Summary Virtualization + HA = Happiness HA will further virtualization adoption HA will provide business uptime HA will make life of the Admin better  Recommendation = Take action to learn about and implement virtualization HA

  35. Don’t Be This Guy…

  36. Questions? If you think of more questions later, feel free to email me at: Or catch me on Twitter & Linkedin at: To download a free portion of my training video, visit

  37. For More Information -- VMHA video I’ll be available at the Ask-the-Expert booth this afternoon

  38. Questions? Ask away…