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Mastering VMware vSphere™ 4 by Scott Lowe

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10.6. Investigating Clusters

As virtual environments grow, organizations can and will add multiple ESX/ESXi hosts to handle the workload of the ever-increasing, sometimes exponentially increasing, number of virtual machines. Some of the concerns with adding a number of stand-alone ESX/ESXi hosts, even those managed by vCenter Server, include the following issues:

  • What happens when a host fails?

  • How can I effectively balance the load across more than one ESX/ESXi host?

VMware vSphere 4 handles both of these issues by creating a cluster of ESX/ESXi hosts.

What is a cluster? A cluster is 2 to 32 ESX/ESXi hosts that work cooperatively to provide features such as VMware HA and VMware DRS. Clusters themselves are implicitly resource pools; however, ...

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