Database clustering support for vCloud Director added in version 5.1!

Those who have been architecting vCloud Director environments from the early days know that this has always been a pain point. I personally have had many discussions with product management and engineering to get support for database clustering like Oracle RAC or Microsoft clustering services for MS SQL. Unfortunately neither 1.0 and 1.5 supported it. So the big questions always was, when will database clustering support for vCloud Director be added?

I had a couple of discussions around this again last week and noticed it was still not listed until someone pointed me to the vCAT 3.0 documents. Hidden on page 110 of document “3a Architecting a VMware vCloud.pdf” I found the following statement:

VMware vCloud component database resiliency is provided through database clustering. Microsoft Cluster Service for SQL and Oracle RAC are supported.

Yes I do realize that this is not a KB article, or even mentioned in the vCloud Director documentation. I have requested the docs to be revised and a KB to be created. Hopefully those will follow soon, for now this statement is all we needed! When the docs are revised or a KB is published I will add the references to this article.

<update – 18/Oct/2012> KB just got added – http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2037802 </update>

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    Comments

    1. Marko says

      Hi Duncan,

      could you please ask the product management guys when clustering support will be added for the vSphere SSO database? Even a named instance does not work :(

    2. says

      So how will that work?

      I have network background so I only have an ok grasp of VCD. Will this mean that you can create a catalogue that has a pair (or more) of prebuilt database servers that are already clustered and VCD will create a replication network for these and you specify the IP addresses during the build?

        • JDoubleU says

          Good news that clustering of the VCD databases is now supported for sure. However, is it possible to run a clustering solution (MSCS or MFC) for workloads running within an Org vDC? Would there even be any advantage to doing so (assuming the underlying ESXi clusters were in an HA/DRS configuration)?

    3. stuart thompson says

      Do we know why vmware wont support sql clustering with vcd 1.5? Does it even work.

      This article has come as a shock to me because i’ve just concluded a design to place quite a few vmware product databases on a mscs cluster.

      Any idea if center heartbeat will support vcd at some point?

      • Duncan says

        Usually this is a matter of what has been tested by Quality Engineering. But I don’t know for sure if that is the case this time.

        I did implement environments with Oracle RAC with 1.0 and those worked fine, still it would not be supported.

    4. Mike Z says

      vCD has long had the unfortunate issue where loss of DB connectivity would make it fall on its face entirely, requiring a full app restart. We initially set up 1.0 as a full RAC solution (connected to both nodes in active/active), but found out that vCD, despite doing “ok”, not great, on a single node failure of the DB, would blow up after that node came back.

      VMware had a nice KB at the time on just how to set up RAC for vCD, since retracted after my discussions with GSS and engineering. Now that it “works”, hopefully they’ll bring it back.

      They finally fixed the DB loss issue in 5.1 from what I can tell from quick testing, so I’m guessing this is why they’re now willing to almost-but-not-quite “support” it.