Available from March, vCenter Server Heartbeat continuously monitors the vCenter Server and can restart the entire system on a passive standby server if it should fail.
The tool costs $9,995 (£6,900) per protected VMware vCenter Server instance if purchased separately from the VMware vCenter Server licence, or $12,995 (£9,000) when bundled with a VMware vCenter Server licence.
VCenter Server Heartbeat is based on technology from high availability specialist Neverfail, which also sells products to protect systems such as Microsoft Exchange and BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Andrew Barnes, vice president of corporate development at Neverfail, said that VMware customers previously had little choice other than to turn to Microsoft Server clustering if they wanted to protect their vCenter Server infrastructure.
While vCenter failure will not immediately affect a company's virtual machine infrastructure, other services such as vMotion and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure require vCenter to operate.
"A lot of customers said they wanted a VMware solution, so they approached us. As far as I know, this is the first time VMware bought in technology to solve a problem," said Barnes.
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