Support Policies for RHEL High Availability Clusters - VMware Virtual Machines as Cluster Members

Updated -



Applicable Environments

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with the High Availability Add-On
  • Using a VMware virtualization solution to provide VMs that may serve as High Availability cluster members

Useful References and Guides


This guide offers Red Hat's policies, requirements, and limitations applicable to the use of VMware virtual machines as members of a RHEL High Availability cluster. Users of RHEL High Availability software components should adhere to these policies by installing only on the approved platforms in order to be eligible to receive assistance from Red Hat Support with the appropriate support subscriptions.


Consider general conditions for support of RHEL High Availability in virtualization environments

Supported VMware products/releases with RHEL High Availability: Red Hat provides support for RHEL High Availability cluster members running on the following VMware products and releases:

  • VMware vSphere - All 5.x, 6.x, and 7.x releases
  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) - All 5.x, 6.x, and 7.x releases

Any product/release combination not listed here is not supported by Red Hat as a platform for RHEL High Availability cluster members.

Cluster-shared-storage configurations: When utilizing shared storage for any managed use-case within the High Availability cluster, Red Hat expects that the following storage configurations should be compatible with clustering use-cases:

  • Raw device mapping devices - using virtual or physical compatibility mode
  • iSCSI LUNs initiated/accessed directly by VMs without any pass-through of the VMware layers
  • Virtual disk file (VMDK) storage devices with the multi-writer flag enabled.

The optimal storage configuration may vary for each deployment. Organizations deploying RHEL High Availability clusters on VMware platforms and utilizing shared storage should consult with VMware and/or their storage solution vendor for guidance and recommended practices for designing a safe and effective storage layout to be used in a clustered environment.

See also:

Available fence methods: See applicable support policies for individual fence methods that may be under consideration for VMware environments:

See Red Hat's guidance for VMware VM cluster members which gives more instruction on choosing a STONITH method: Design guidance - VMware VMs as Cluster Members

Mixed baremetal and VMware VM clusters: Red Hat provides support for clusters consisting of both baremetal systems and VMware virtual machines, subject to these other applicable policies.

Cluster nodes hosted on VMware Cloud: Currently this is unsupported and for more information see: Does Red Hat support VMware cloud hosts as members of a High Availability cluster?

Cluster nodes hosted on VMware Cloud on AWS (Amazon Web Services): Currently this is unsupported and for more information see: Does Red Hat support VMware cloud hosts as members of a High Availability cluster?

No support for fence_vmware: Red Hat once shipped an agent known as fence_vmware - a separate entity from fence_vmware_soap - but no longer includes this in the fence-agents packages. This agent is no longer supported, and has been replaced by fence_vmware_soap.


To any readers that are curious about the latest version of this policy that has an updated definition of what VMware versions are supported: the statement is indeed intended to reflect that Red Hat supports RHEL 6 and 7 High Availability clusters on vSphere/ESXi 6.5 platforms or any other vSphere/ESXi 6.x release. Red Hat's policy in this area no longer limits support to combinations of specific RHEL minor releases with specific VMware-product minor releases.


is running of Red hat cluster nodes on Vmware VSAN is officially supported by Red hat ?

Is this supports on vSphere/ESXi 7.0 release ?

As per Bhalchandra's comment, can we get some confirmation on when vSphere / ESXI 7.x will be added for support?