Protecting Mission-Critical Workloads with VMware Fault Tolerance

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February 24, 2009

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As server virtualization becomes commonplace in the enterprise, IT organizations are growing increasingly reliant on the associated virtualization benefits such as higher server consolidation ratios and better resource utilization to name a few. However, these benefits also introduce new availability requirements to virtualized environments. As more business-critical workloads are deployed in virtual machines, a catastrophic failure of a single physical server might lead to an interruption of a large number of services.VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) leverages the well known encapsulation properties of virtualization by building high availability directly into the ESX hypervisor in order to deliver hardware style fault tolerance to virtual machines. It requires neither custom hardware nor custom software. Guest operating systems and applications do not require modifications or reconfiguration. In fact, they remain unaware of the protection transparently delivered by ESX and the underlying architecture.