Are you using the latest version? VMware Infrastructure 3.5 does in fact protect against individual VM failure. So you are good to go.
<a href=”http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_35_25_vmha.pdf”>VM Failure Monitoring</a>, a.k.a. VM HA, allows you to direct a VM to be restarted on the same ESX server or to be VMotioned to another ESX server in the event that the VM fails. A heartbeat is maintained between VI and the VM to detect failure. To configure VM HA you must edit an advanced value in a cluster’s HA configuration screen. The PDF I linked shows you how to do that. Per the PDF, VM HA works like this:
- If no heartbeat is received from a virtual machine for 60 seconds or more, VMware HA resets that virtual machine.
- A virtual machine is allowed 240 seconds to stabilize after startup. This allows the virtual machine to perform a reset of the operating system and of VMware tools.
- If the virtual machine fails three or more times in a day, VMware HA does not reset the virtual machine.