Early 2009 I wrote an article on the impact of Primary Nodes and Secondary Nodes on your design. This was primarily focussed on Blade environments and basically it discussed how to avoid having all your primary nodes in a single chassis. If that single chassis would fail, no VMs would be restarted as one of the primary nodes is the “failover coordinator” and without a primary node to assign this role to a failover can’t be initiated.
With vSphere 4.1 a new advanced setting has been introduced. This setting is not even experimental, it is unsupported. I don’t recommend anyone using this in a production environment, if you do want to play around with it use your test environment. Here it is:
das.preferredPrimaries = hostname1 hostname2 hostname3
das.preferredPrimaries = 192.168.1.1,192.168.1.2,192.168.1.3
The list of hosts that are preferred as primary can either be space or comma separated. You don’t need to specify 5 hosts, you can specify any number of hosts. If you specify 5 and all 5 are available they will be the primary nodes in your cluster. If you specify more than 5, the first 5 of your list will become primary.
Please note that I haven’t personally tried it and I can’t guarantee it will work.