I don’t work with HCX(abbreviation for Hybrid Cloud Extension) for some time, installing the infrastructure at least. Recently I only used it in some VMs and Apps migrations. So it was time to build some HCX infrastructure lab, and in this How to install-pairing HCX Manager and Connector, I will explain how to do this.
I will write a few HCX articles and explain some different HCX implementations and migrations. In this first blog post, I will only install HCX Manager OVA and HCX Connector OVA and do Site Pairing.
My environment for this initial HCX Deployment is:
Destination: VCF v4.2 (with vCenter 7.0 and NSX-T v3.2)
Source: vCenter 7.0 (no NSX-T)
Destination HCX Manager: v4.4.0-build 20427536
Source HCX Connector: v4.4.2-build-20502808
License: I will use an NSX-T license that provides HCX Advanced licensing. That is enough for this lab.
Installing the HCX Manager OVA is a simple OVA Appliance deployment, so it will not go into much detail.
First, you need to download the HCX Manager from your VMware account(if this was a deployment into AWS, Azure, etc., you could deploy the OVA from the Cloud Services).
Even I deployed the HCX Manager Appliance in the destination(in this case, the VCF vCenter), this is not mandatory. As we can do with a vCenter and a Cloud Director, NSX OVA, etc., it can be deployed in any vCenter, then connected to the right vCenter/SSO.
As we see above, it is just a standard OVA deployment setting the password, IP address, Gateway, DNS, etc.
Note: As I have discussed in my previous blog post, there is a bug that when you add more than 1 DNS entry, Appliance was not saved in the DNS. So add only one DNS; you can add the extra DNS entries after the Appliance is deployed.
After HCX Manager is deployed, connect to the administrator VAMI using https://ip-fqdn:9443 using the admin user and password set in the OVA deployment.
Next, we will start to configure our HCX Manager Appliance.
This section is where you need to activate your License. As I said above, you can use your NSX-T Enterprise license. In this case, you will not need any additional HCX licenses unless you want to use HCX services like Replication Assisted vMotion Migration, SRM Integration, or OS Assisted Migration. These services required an HCX Enterprise license.
You can check more about HCX licenses HERE.
Note: Do not change the default license server https://connect.hcx.vmware.com
After your license is activated, HCX will start updating your HCX and enable HCX services.
Depending on your internet connection and new updates, this can take minutes.
After your HCX Manager is up to date, we need to set our location for this HCX Manager. For on-prem deployments, this is just information. Cloud deployment is for Cloud services that use the nearby data center and will be done automatically.
Next, give this HCX Manager system a name. Again, this is just for reference.
Next, we start connecting our HCX Manager, which is vSphere(which is a VCF, but it will be connected to a vSphere). We could also connect to a VMware Cloud Director infrastructure.
Next, we will connect our HCX Manager to our destination vCenter and NSX-T. You need to use the same NSX-T license in both HCX deployments. Using an NSX-T in the destination is mandatory but is not mandatory in the source.
Next, connect the HCX Manager to your SSO/PSC. Since external PSC is not supported anymore, this should be your vCenter.
If you are deploying HCX Manager for Cloud migrations or sites that are not connected internally, you need to provide a Public URL so that we can connect to this site through the internet. Since this is an internal HCX deployment, we can use the HCX Manager FQDN.
And we finish our initial HCX Manager configuration. Double-check the settings and click restart.
After HCX Manager is rebooted, you can now login to the HCX Manager. Since we connected to an SSO, you need to use your SSO administrator(or a user with admin rights) credentials. Check HERE what the user permissions requirements to use in HCX.
Note: If you have a specific SSO domain name and not using the default(vsphere.local), your login will fail if not changed in the HCX Role Mapping. Check my blog post about invalid login when not changed SSO groups to the proper Domain.
You are now connected to the HCX Manager Dashboard.
Before we start the Site Pairing, we will need to deploy the source HCX. From here, we will begin the deployment of the HCX Connector in the source.
First, go to System Updates and then click on Check for Updates. Next, you will have displayed a link, Request Download Link. After you click the link, you have two options, download the HCX Connector, or copy the link and paste it into your browser to download it from the Source site. I copy the link, paste it into the Source site browser, and download the HCX Connector OVA.
After you have the HCX Connector OVA, deploy in the Source vCenter(or other), in my case, the Source vCenter.
The deploy and configure settings are the same as we discussed above, so there is no need to display them here again.
The only difference is that the HCX Connector VAMI doesn’t have NSX Manager and Public Access URL Options. In the HCX Manager configuration, you have the Compute option that doesn’t exist in the connector since Compute is the infrastructure where the VMs will be migrated.
After you have your HCX Connector deployed and configured to your Source vCenter, we can start the Site Pairing by connecting your Source HCX to your Destination HCX.
All tasks like Pairing, Creating Mesh, etc., always need to be done in the Source HCX Connector to HCX Manager. Always from the Source to Destination.
In the Source Site, open the HCX Connector with Source vCenter admin credentials(do not forget to change Role Mapping if you are not using SSO default domain), and go to the Site Pairing option.
And after we have paired the Sites, we can now see the destination and source. Double-check your Source HCX Connector and the Destination, HCX Manager, if you see the sites paired and all connections are green.
If the Site Pairing is all green(Source and Destination), we have both sites connected and can start the Interconnect configuration to configure HCX Infrasctuture for VMs migrations.
The Interconnect configuration and settings will explain in another blog post.
- How to install-pairing HCX Manager and Connector (this one)
- HCX – How to create Network and Compute Profiles
- How to create Service Mesh and connect sites(soon)
- How to create Network Extension and migrate VMs(soon)
- … and more
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