Awaiting too long for this!!! vCenter HA – Part 4

So this is the final part of the blog series for setting up the vCenter HA for your vCenter Server Appliance 6.5. To recap a bit, we have deployed the PSC nodes, NLB and configured the HA mode for PSC nodes. Now, we would perform the installation of vCenter (which is trivial) and also the vCenter HA (which is also quite trivial). Following steps will be taken:

  1. Install the vCenter Server using the Load Balancer virtual IP for the Platform Service Controller when prompted.
  2. Configure vCenter HA With the Basic Option
  3. Verify the vCenter HA function

You can read more about the vCenter HA deployment method, requirement and prerequisites from the vSphere Availability Guide. But to keep setup simple, we are using the Basic (trivial) deployment method which just require us to provide a port group and IPs for Heartbeating. slide1

While PSC01 and PSC01 is being deployed in the Part 2 of this blog series and the HA configuration has been configured and deployed with Part 3. In this blog, we are going to configure the VC nodes. We will first deploy the VC01 first then when we are enabling the vCenter HA with basic config, the VC02 and VC Witness will be cloned out and configured directly. So let’s get started!

Install the vCenter Server using the Load Balancer virtual IP for the Platform Service Controller when prompted.

Run again the vCenter Appliance Installer and choose Install

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Press Next to proceed to deployment

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Accept the EULA and press Next to proceed

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We are deploying a vCenter with External PSC, so please choose “External Platform Services Controller” and “vCenter Server (Requires External Platform Services Controller)”.

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Choose the ESXi host you would like to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance.

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Accept the certification to proceed

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Provide the VM name and Root Password info. You do not need to give it the node name. I mean if you are using “vCenter” as the management hostname, you can use it directly. We do not need to make vCenter01 and vCenter02 as the node names. As the vCenter HA will cloned out the secondary node and witness node with hostname configured. In simply words, you don’t need 3 Management IP for the 3 nodes, you just need one DNS and one IP for management. While 3 heartbeat IPs would be needed for the nodes.

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Choose the size of the vCenter. I use Small configuration for development and testing purpose.

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Choose the proper datastore for deployment.

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Input the network information, as said, we input the IP which you wants to be the final service IP. Of course FQDN as the final service FQDN too.

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Press Finish to proceed

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Wait for completion of the deployment in stage 1, press continue to proceed to the stage 2.

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Press Next to proceed to the Stage 2 of the deployment

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This is an important step, you need to enable the SSH access for the vCenter Server as the pre-requisites for the vCenter HA

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Input the SSO configuration, input the NLB-ed FQDN setup in the previous steps. For my case, it’s PSC.vmware.lab.

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Confirm the input and press Finish to proceed

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Press OK to proceed and do not interrupt the configuration and wait for the completion of deployment.

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GREAT you got the vCenter Deployed!!!

Configure vCenter HA With the Basic Option

To have the Basic Option for vCenter HA, you would have to have your vCenter Self Managed Host. i.e. You need to have your vCenter managing your ESXi which running your vCenter VM itself.

I added the hosts into the vCenter management, actually you can see my screen I have two hosts only and this is why I have failed in first time. And turn out, I added one more host into the environment to make the deployment successful

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Then you need to have a separate port group for the Heartbeat taffic.

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After that, we can enable the vCenter HA from the VC object. Go to the “configure” tab and go to vCenter HA and press “Configure”

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Choose “Basic” Configuration for the vCenter HA deployment.

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Select a Heartbeat IP for the vCenter Node 1. This is an isolated network for the VC nodes to communicate, so it can be isolated one. And choose the corresponding port group from the “Select vCenter HA network”

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In the next step of the Wizard, you would have to input the Heartbeat IP for the VC Node 2 and the Witness.

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After that, press Next to continue the setup

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In this page, you can select separate datastores for running the different nodes in order to enhance the availability level.

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You can even select thin provisioning for different nodes

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So the configuration will take place. (Again, you actually need to have three hosts to make the deployment success)

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On successful deployment, you can see the page changed and here you can see which node is active, passive or witness. Green lights of course mean configuration is okay. For detail you can press “vCenter HA Monitoring” under the “Edit” and “Initiate Failover” button.

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You can see more detail under the Monitor > vCenter HA.

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So the configuration are all DONE!!!

Verify the vCenter HA function

So before completion, definitely we need to test failover. So just click the initiate failover under the configure > vCenter HA.

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Press Yes to confirm the failover.

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WOW, Failover in progress. And we need wait some time to let the web client up and running

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WOW, failover is done and you can see now the Active and Passive Role swapped

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Conclusion

PERFECT!!! So all done, we deployed the vCenter HA with the NLB HA PSC configuration. You can enjoy the best protection of your vCenter Appliance now. All the nodes of the following diagram has been deployed and they are up and running and working properly. This is really a great great feature for the vSphere 6.5 and I wish the blog series could let you deploy your instance easily too.

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Awaiting too long for this!!! vCenter HA – Part 3
Horizon VIEW One Way Trust Step by Step

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