The last breakout session we attended the XTG vCenter Server Heartbeat workshop, a quick way to get familiar with a new VMware product.

The instructor first introduced us to the product and discussed some installation and configuration hints and tips.

After that we quickly started with preparing and cloning the vCenter Server and installing and configuring the vCenter Server Heartbeat product.

The workshop certainly was useful but in a different way you would probably expect.

After the workshop Anne Jan and I discussed our experiences with the product and we quickly agreed that VMware could have spent more time OEM-ing the former Neverfail product to give it a VMware-like interface instead of the 1980’s Windows 3.11 interface it has now. Besides that the configuration of the product has a very high tweaker-level. In our opinion this is a 0.9 version and in the 1.0 versionVMware should definitely address the interface and configuration look and feel.

Nevertheless VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat does what it is supposed to as we saw during the lab exercises where we did a clean failover and finally caused a BSOD which vCenter Server Heartbeat handled perfectly.

I wonder if customers are willing to pay so much money for a product which isn’t worthy the VMware name based on its ancient interface. I know I will be having a very hard time to convince customers to use this to achieve a very high vCenter protection level even when it’s clear that the use case is definitively there.