vSphere HA uses datastore heartbeating to distinguish between hosts that have failed and hosts that reside on a network partition. Datastore heartbeating allows vSphere HA to monitor hosts when a management network partition occurs and to continue to respond to failures that occur.

You can specify the datastores that you want to be used for datastore heartbeating.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, browse to the vSphere HA cluster.
  2. Click the Manage tab and click Settings.
  3. Under Settings, select vSphere HA and click Edit.
  4. Expand Datastore Heartbeating to display the configuration options for datastore heartbeating.
  5. To instruct vSphere HA about how to select the datastores and how to treat your preferences, choose from the following options:
    Table 1.
    Datastore Heartbeating Options
    Automatically select datastores accessible from the host
    Use datastores only from the specified list
    Use datastores from the specified list and complement automatically if needed
  6. In the Available heartbeat datastores pane, select the datastores that you want to use for heartbeating.
    The datastores listed are those shared by more than one host in the vSphere HA cluster. When a datastore is selected, the lower pane displays all the hosts in the vSphere HA cluster that can access it.
  7. Click OK.