You can use vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) for most mission critical virtual machines. FT provides continuous availability for such a virtual machine by creating and maintaining another VM that is identical and continuously available to replace it in the event of a failover situation.
The protected virtual machine is called the Primary VM. The duplicate virtual machine, the Secondary VM, is created and runs on another host. The primary VM is continuously replicated to the secondary VM so that the secondary VM can take over at any point, thereby providing Fault Tolerant protection.
The Primary and Secondary VMs continuously monitor the status of one another to ensure that Fault Tolerance is maintained. A transparent failover occurs if the host running the Primary VM fails, or encounters an uncorrectable hardware error in the memory of the Primary VM, in which case the Secondary VM is immediately activated to replace the Primary VM. A new Secondary VM is started and Fault Tolerance redundancy is reestablished automatically. If the host running the Secondary VM fails, it is also immediately replaced. In either case, users experience no interruption in service and no loss of data.
Fault Tolerance avoids "split-brain" situations, which can lead to two active copies of a virtual machine after recovery from a failure. Atomic file locking on shared storage is used to coordinate failover so that only one side continues running as the Primary VM and a new Secondary VM is respawned automatically.
vSphere Fault Tolerance can accommodate symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) virtual machines with up to 8 vCPUs.