Need Help: How to configure VMWare cluster (Home Lab)

In a recent video Wendell mentioned that it’s possible (not recommended for business) to setup a VMWare cluster with two hosts and iSCSI Storage.

Is someone able to point me to a good tutorial on how to configure a cluster?

I happen to have two older PC’s that have VMWare 7 compatible hardware and each has a 4 port 1GB NIC. I’ve used VMWare before but just as single stand alone hosts, not configured it before as a cluster that allows VM’s to float between hosts.

I’d love to learn more about it this stuff and get it working in my home lab. I find that I learn best when I set it all up physically, I tend to visualise it all better that way as compared to setting it all up in a virtual online platform.

At one place I worked they had 3 hosts plus an iSCSI storage and it was configured in such a way that if 1 host died everything just switched to the two that were still live and kept working. They actually proved this during business hours once buy ripping the power out of one host. All that was noticed was a 1-2 second freeze on the terminal server whilst you were using it. I’d love to understand more about this kind of setup.

You can have a cluster with two hosts, but for HA/quorum reasons… vmware has always recommended 3 hosts in a cluster.

Also, i believe the free license doesnt allow ha / live migrations and a lot of other features

I know the free license has a limited feature set. But the 60 day trial has all features enabled.
So I’ve got 60 days to play with all features, then I’m actually considering getting the paid VMUG subscription which as I understand it will allow all features.

For the two node you just need the witness appliance. it can run on anything and not actually host data.

Wendell is right, you can even run a witness node on a rpi :smiley:

Also I don’t want to promote or engage piracy in any way, but esxi licenses are literally a Google search away… I honestly wouldn’t give them any more money…

Thank you all for your input so far.
The idea of a witness running on an Raspberry Pi is interesting and certainly affordable.

However I think you’ve all missed my main point.

I’m looking for a step by step guide on however to configure all the various features of a cluster.

I’ve never done it myself before which means I’m real green.
I found one video which seemed good for setting up ESXi on a RPi. He provided instructions on how to update the firmware on the RPi, then had you do all this configuration on the SD card only to the install VMWare on a USB drive and tell the RPi to boot from that making it feel like you don’t need the SD card after you’ve updated the firmware leaving me wondering, why not install VMWare on the SD card?

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That’s because for the ROM in the pi, where the firmware resides, isn’t big enough to fit the Efi firmware, so instead from loading it directly it will go ahead boot U-Boot (the firmware on the device) and then switch over and load the Efi firmware from the sdcard. So you still need the sdcard after all!

Ah that makes sense, thank you.