Redundant heartbeat networks

Heartbeats in vSphere HA are sent between the master and slave hosts in order to determine a host’s failure. A host is deemed to have failed if these events occur:

  • no network heartbeats are received.
  • the host doesn’t respond to pings.
  • no storage heartbeats are detected.

Heartbeat networks are implemented using a VMkernel Management port. It is recommended that you create redundant heartbeat networks on ESXi hosts in order to avoid a single point of failure. This way, if a master host’s connection fails, other connections can still be used to send heartbeats to other hosts.

There are two ways to create redundant heartbeat networks on ESXi hosts:

  • NIC teaming – a team of two NICs is created.
  • configure additional heartbeat networks – a second VMkernel port on a separate virtual switch with its own physical adapter is created.
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