I have had this question multiple times by now so I figured I would write a short blog post about it. The question is if you can share datastores across clusters with vSphere 5.0 and HA enabled. This question comes from the fact that HA has a new feature called “datastore heartbeating” and uses the datastore as a communication mechanism.
The answer is short and sweet: Yes.
For each cluster a folder is created. The folder structure is as follows:
/<root of datastore>/.vSphere-HA/<cluster-specific-directory>/
The “cluster specific directory” is based on the uuid of the vCenter Server, the MoID of the cluster, a random 8 char string and the name of the host running vCenter Server. So even if you use dozens of vCenter Servers there is no need to worry.
Each folder contains the files HA needs/uses as shown in the screenshot below. So no need to worry around sharing of datastores across clusters. Frank also wrote an article about this from a Storage DRS perspective. Make sure you read it!
PS: all these details can be found in our Clustering Deepdive book… find it on Amazon.