vCenter High Availability (vCenter HA) protects not only against host and hardware failures but also against vCenter Server application failures. Using automated failover from active to passive, vCenter HA supports high availability with minimal downtime.

vCenter HA protects your vCenter Server Appliance. However, Platform Services Controller provides authentication, certificate management, and licenses for the vCenter Server Appliance. As a result, you have to guarantee high availability of Platform Services Controller. You have the following options:
  • Deploy an Active node with an embedded Platform Services Controller. As part of the cloning process, the Platform Services Controller and all is services are cloned as well. As part of synchronization from Active node to Passive node, Platform Services Controller on the Passive node is updated.

    When failover from the Active node to the Passive node occurs, the Platform Services Controller on the passive node are available and the complete environment is available.

  • Deploy at least two Platform Services Controller instances and place them behind a load balancer.

    When failover from the Active node to the Passive node occurs, the Passive node continues to point to the load balancer. When one of the Platform Services Controller instances becomes unavailable, the load balancer directs requests to the second Platform Services Controller instance.

You configure vCenter HA from the vSphere Client. The configuration wizard provides these options.
Option Description
Automatic The automatic option clones the Active node to the Passive node and witness node, and configures the nodes for you.

If your environment meets one the following requirements, you can use this option.

  • The vCenter Server Appliance that becomes the Active node is managing its own ESXi host and its own virtual machine. This configuration is sometimes called a self-managed vCenter Server.
  • The vCenter Server Appliance is managed by another vCenter Server. They both use an external Platform Services Controller and both are running vSphere 6.5 or later.
Manual The manual option offers more flexibility. You can use this option provided that your environment meets hardware and software requirements.

If you select this option, you are responsible for cloning the Active node to the Passive node and the Witness node. You must also perform some networking configuration.

For more information, see GUID-C169A6AD-FBE1-4A06-BDB2-87BA2C80B5AE.html#GUID-C169A6AD-FBE1-4A06-BDB2-87BA2C80B5AE.