To enable your cluster for vSphere HA, first create an empty cluster. After you have planned the resources and networking architecture of your cluster, you can use the vSphere Client to add hosts to the cluster and specify the cluster's vSphere HA settings.

Open a vSphere Client connection to a to vCenter Server using an account with cluster administrator permissions.


Verify that all virtual machines and their configuration files reside on shared storage. Verify that the hosts are configured to access that shared storage so that you can power on the virtual machines using different hosts in the cluster,

Verify that hosts are configured to have access to the virtual machine network.

Note: Use redundant management network connections for vSphere HA. For information about network redundancy best practices, see the vSphere Availability publication. You should also configure hosts with at least two datastores to provide redundancy for vSphere HA datastore heartbeating.


  1. Select the Hosts & Clusters view.
  2. Right-click the Datacenter in the Inventory tree and click New Cluster.
  3. Complete the New Cluster wizard.
    Do not enable vSphere HA (or DRS) at this time.
  4. Click Finish to close the wizard and create the cluster.
    You have created an empty cluster.
  5. Based on your plan for the resources and networking architecture of the cluster, use the vSphere Client to add hosts to the cluster.
  6. Right-click the cluster and click Edit Settings.
    The cluster's Settings dialog box is where you can modify the vSphere HA (and other) settings for the cluster.
  7. On the Cluster Features page, select Turn On vSphere HA.
  8. Configure the vSphere HA settings as appropriate for your cluster.
    • Host Monitoring Status
    • Admission Control
    • Virtual Machine Options
    • VM Monitoring
    • Datastore Heartbeating
  9. Click OK to close the cluster's Settings dialog box.


You have a configured vSphere HA cluster, populated with hosts, available. For information about configuring the cluster settings, see Configuring vSphere HA Cluster Settings in the vSphere Client.
Note: A vSphere HA-enabled cluster is a prerequisite for Fault Tolerance.