What is the difference between High Availability and Fault Tolerance?


The table below describes the main differences between High Availability (HA) and Fault Tolerance (FT) in VMware.  The key difference is that FT eliminates downtime whereas HA does not.

High Availability Fault Tolerance
  • Monitors heartbeat information provided by the VMware Tools package
  • Automatically restarts affected virtual machine on other servers with spare capacity in the event of a physical server failure
  • Automatically restarts affected virtual machines on the same physical server in the event of operating system failure
  • Maintains a second copy of a virtual machine on another host
  • Provides continuous availability for applications when a physical server fails
  • Automatically triggers failover during a hardware outage
  • Supports up to 4 vCPUs and 64GB of memory


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