To provide failover capabilities if the primary VMware Identity Manager data center becomes unavailable, VMware Identity Manager needs to be deployed in a secondary data center.

By using a secondary data center, end users can log in and use applications with no downtime. A secondary data center also allows administrators the ability to upgrade VMware Identity Manager to the next version without any downtime. See Upgrading VMware Identity Manager with No Downtime.

A typical deployment using a secondary data center is shown here.



secondary data center deployment


Follow these guidelines for a multi-data center deployment.

  • Cluster Deployment: You need to deploy a set of three or more VMware Identity Manager virtual appliances as one cluster in one data center and another set of three or more virtual appliances as another cluster in the second data center. See Setting up a Secondary Data Center for more information.

  • Database: VMware Identity Manager uses the database to store data. For a multi-datacenter deployment, replication of the database between the two data centers is crucial. Refer to your database documentation about how to set up a database in multiple data centers. For example, with SQL Server, using Always On deployment is recommended. See Overview of Always On Availability Groups (SQL Server) on the Microsoft website for information. VMware Identity Manager functionalities expect very low latency between the database and the VMware Identity Manager appliance. Therefore, appliances in one data center are expected to connect to the database in the same data center.

  • Not Active-Active: VMware Identity Manager does not support an Active-Active deployment where users can be served from both data centers at the same time. The secondary data center is a hot stand-by and can be used to provide business continuity for end users. VMware Identity Manager appliances in the secondary data center are in a read-only mode. Therefore, after a fail-over to that data center, most admin operations, like adding users or apps, or entitling users, will not work.

  • Fail-Back to Primary: In most failure scenarios, you can fail back to the primary data center once that data center is back to normal. See Failback to Primary Data Center for information.

  • Promote Secondary to Primary: In case of an extended data center failure, the secondary data center can be promoted to primary. See Promoting Secondary Data Center to Primary Data Center for information.

  • Fully Qualified Domain Name: The fully qualified domain name to access VMware Identity Manager should be the same in all data centers.

  • Audits: VMware Identity Manager uses Elasticsearch embedded in the VMware Identity Manager appliance for auditing, reports, and directory sync logs. Separate Elasticsearch clusters have to be created in each data center. See Setting up a Secondary Data Center for more information.

  • Active Directory: VMware Identity Manager can connect to Active Directory using the LDAP API or using Integrated Windows Authentication. In both these methods, VMware Identity Manager can leverage Active Directory SRV records to reach the appropriate domain controller in each data center.

  • Windows Apps: VMware Identity Manager supports accessing Windows apps using ThinApp, and Windows Apps and Desktops using Horizon View or Citrix technologies. It is usually important to deliver these resources from a data center that is closer to the user, also called Geo-Affinity. Note the following about Windows resources:

    • ThinApps - VMware Identity Manager supports Windows Distributed File Systems as a ThinApp repository. Use the Windows Distributed File Systems documentation to set up appropriate location-specific policies.

    • Horizon View (with Cloud Pod Architecture) - VMware Identity Manager supports Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture. Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture provides Geo-Affinity using global entitlements. See "Integrating Cloud Pod Architecture Deployments" in Setting up Resources in VMware Identity Manager for information. No additional changes are required for a VMware Identity Manager multi-datacenter deployment.

    • Horizon View (without Cloud Pod Architecture) - If Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture is not enabled in your environment, you cannot enable Geo-Affinity. After a fail-over event, you can manually switch VMware Identity Manager to launch Horizon View resources from the View pods configured in the secondary data center. See Configure Failover Order of Horizon View and Citrix-based Resources for more information.

    • Citrix Resources - Similar to Horizon View (without Cloud Pod Architecture), you cannot enable Geo-Affinity for Citrix resources. After a fail-over event, you can manually switch VMware Identity Manager to launch Citrix resources from the XenFarms configured in the secondary data center. See Configure Failover Order of Horizon View and Citrix-based Resources for more information.