One of the announcments that came out of VMworld Europe 2009 last week (one which surprising didn’t seem to get much attention that I’m aware of) was that of vCenter Server Heartbeat. One of the common issues that my clients have been frustreated with was the lack true monitoring and automatic redundancy for the vCenter. A Virtual Infrastructure’s operation relies on vCenter and in the past the recommended solution from VMware was to run vCenter virtualized in a High Availability pair. This worked fine if all vCenter components lived on the same VM. Once you break those components up across multiple VMs for increased performance and flexability, you need a solution that is application aware. This is exactly waht vCenter Server Heartbeat can deliver. From the press release:
VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat monitors the vCenter Server connectivity and components, including the license server and VMware vCenter Update Manager, and can restart the entire vCenter Server on the passive server. This can help ensure a consistent, reliable operation of VMware vCenter Server if it is threatened by unplanned or planned downtime, and it provides a broad range of protection against operator errors, operating system or hardware failure, or external events.
vCenter heart beat it built ontop of Neverfail’s application availability technology and should be available in March.