vSphere HA clusters enable a collection of ESXi hosts to work together so that, as a group, they provide higher levels of availability for virtual machines than each ESXi host can provide individually. When you plan the creation and usage of a new vSphere HA cluster, the options you select affect the way that cluster responds to failures of hosts or virtual machines.

Before you create a vSphere HA cluster, you should know how vSphere HA identifies host failures and isolation and how it responds to these situations. You also should know how admission control works so that you can choose the policy that fits your failover needs. After you establish a cluster, you can customize its behavior with advanced options and optimize its performance by following recommended best practices.

Note: You might get an error message when you try to use vSphere HA. For information about error messages related to vSphere HA, see the VMware knowledge base article at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1033634.