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Need information on how to configure .vmdks with VCS to allow for vMotion

Created: 01 May 2013 | 4 comments
ChipApple's picture

I was wondering if anyone in this forum has used virtual disks (.vmdk format)  VMware 5.1 and SFWHA 6.0.1 while still taking advantage of DRS and vMotion?

What a co-worker and I are trying to accomplish is to use vmdk disks instead of RDM in a configuration that allow DRS and vMotion capability.

We can failover the application group from virtual system to virtual system without issue but when the guest system with the .vmdk gets vMotion'ed, then the other guest systems in the cluster cannot 'find' the disks/diskgroups for that particular application (in this example, it would be Exchange 2010). 

I have been looking through the SFWHA documentation but not finding anything directly related on how the environment needs to be setup in order for this to work. If anyone has the info in a document, technote, or SFWHA manual that we missed, it would be greatly appreciated to please reference the information.



Operating Systems:

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mikebounds's picture

This should work - see my post which has relevent links.


UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Tong Duy Thanh's picture

Hi ChipApple

Folllow my knowledge, then if you want to configure using a cluster software from third party such as Microsoft Cluster Service or Storage Foundation Veritas Cluster Service of Symantec then you must do the following:

1. Share disk is configure RDM not using VMDK

2. When you used Cluster of another software then you don't have HA feature of VMware such as Vmotion same Fault Tolerance.

Thanks ChipApple's question and answer of mikebound. Now I know that configure vmdk but still enable HA features of VMware.

Wally_Heim's picture

Hi Chip,

In short, you need to install the Symantec HA Console version 6.0.1 and connect it to your vCenter server. Then you need to push the Symantec HA Console Guest 6.0.1 components to the Windows 2008 servers or the 6.0.2 components to Windows 2012 servers (this may need to be added manually to the configuration.)  This will get you VCS for Windows with the VMWareDisk and NativeDisks resources.  If you want you can upgrade the guest components to SFW-HA which will add the VMNSDg resource (Volume Manager Non-Shared Diskgroup.)

I would use the Symantec HA Console wizard to create the cluster and a basic group (GenericService) since it does not have Wizards for Exchange.  From there you can log into the cluster locally and run the locally installed Exchange wizard to create the Exchange 2010 groups as needed.  You will need to manually add the VMWareDisk resource at the bottom of the storage dependency as needed.  You might also need to implement the NativeDisk or VMNSDg resource as needed.  There should not be an VMDg resource in the group because that resource breaks the DRS and vMotion features in VMWare.  The Symantec HA Console will then pick up the service groups automatically.

I know that this is a hight level overview of the process.  If you have any more questions, you know how to contact me directly.

Thank you,


ChipApple's picture

Thanks everyone for the input. I will keep the thread up-to-date.