/What is VMware HCX, and how does it work

What is VMware HCX, and how does it work

In this What is VMware HCX, and how does it work, I will provide some simple explanations about HCX, the type of migrations scenarios, and how HCX can help with workloads migrations.

VMware HCX (formerly known as Hybrid Cloud Extension and NSX Hybrid Connect) is a massively scalable hypervisor-based supercomputing platform, delivered as an on-demand self-service cloud that enables customers to run complex real-time applications and high-performance analytics across dozens of VMware ESXi hosts in seconds. No hardware upfront.

How To Get Started With VMware HCX Migrations

What is HCX?

VMware HCX is an application mobility platform that enables simplified application migration, workload rebalancing, and business continuity across datacenters and clouds. It offers features such as unrestricted mobility, secure large-scale migrations, and hybrid networking. Additionally, HCX offers a bulk migration option that leverages VMware vSphere Replication protocols to move virtual machines in parallel according to a predefined schedule. HCX can be deployed as the source (HCX Connector) or the destination (HCX Cloud), depending on the environment and use case.

The HCX data migration process

How To Get Started With VMware HCX Migrations

The HCX data migration process is straightforward. You can use HCX to migrate your data from one location to another in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is select the source and destination locations and then specify the amount of data you want to migrate. HCX will then transfer the data between the two locations.

The HCX data migration process depends on the type of migration being performed. There are usually two types of migration using HCX: vMotion and Bulk Migration.

In vMotion, the VM is moved from one ESXi host to another without downtime or interruption. The vMotion operation triggers a shadow copy of the VM to its interconnect appliance (IX), which also holds a temporary virtual machine disk (VMDK) for the migrated VM. Once the shadow copy is complete, the source VM is quiesced, and its memory state is transferred to the IX. The IX then unquiesces the VM, allowing it to run on the destination ESXi host.

On the other hand, Bulk Migration uses host-based replication to relocate a virtual machine between HCX data centers. In bulk migration, the source VM is first replicated to the destination HCX data center using VMware vSphere Replication protocols. To reduce the downtime, the source VM remains online during the replication and is bootstrapped on the destination ESX host after replication completes. Once the replication is complete, the VM at the destination site is powered on and tested, while the original VM at the source site is deleted.

Both migration types offer a seamless and efficient migration experience for moving workloads between different environments, eliminating the need for manual intervention and minimizing disruption to business operations.

Performing a successful HCX migration

To perform a successful HCX migration, here are the key steps that must be followed:

How To Get Started With VMware HCX Migrations

  1. Plan and prepare for the migration: Planning and preparing accordingly is essential before starting the migration process. This includes identifying the virtual machines and applications that will be migrated, determining the migration method (vMotion or Bulk Migration), and assessing the network connectivity between the source and destination environments.
  2. Configure HCX components: The next step is configuring the HCX components, including the HCX Connector and the HCX Cloud, based on the migration requirements. This involves setting up the interconnect networks, creating site pairs, and enabling replication where necessary.
  3. Test the migration setup: Once the HCX components are configured, testing the migration setup is crucial to ensure it works properly. This includes testing network connectivity, validating the replication settings, and verifying that the virtual machines can be successfully migrated.
  4. Perform the migration: The migration process can begin after the migration setup has been tested and validated. It’s essential to carefully monitor the migration to ensure it progresses smoothly and without issues.
  5. Verify the migration: Once the migration is complete, verifying that the virtual machines and applications function correctly in the new environment is essential. This includes testing application performance, verifying network connectivity, and validating data integrity.

By following the above steps, organizations can ensure a smooth and successful HCX migration that minimizes downtime and disruption to their business operations.

Two scenarios of HCX migrations:

Migration between legacy environments, a vSphere, or a legacy KVM/ Hyper-V to a VMware Cloud Foundation(VCF) environment.

HCX for VCF

Sample Customer Scenario

  • Building Private Cloud
  • Transforming from Legacy DCs to VCF
  • Consolidating multiple DC Regions
  • VCF to VCF Version Upgrade
  • vSphere 7 Upgrade

HCX Advantage

  • Driving large-scale migration
  • Automatic vSphere Upgrade
  • No business impact
  • Migrate non-vSphere workloads
  • Map legacy IPs/Networks to new SDDC
  • Accelerate Transform Months / Weeks
  • Self-Service by the customer

How To Get Started With VMware HCX Migrations

Migration between legacy environments, a vSphere, to a Vmware Cloud(VMC) on AWS environment and protected by a DR site.

HCX for VMC on AWS

Sample Customer Scenario

  • Migrating On-Prem VMC
  • Rebalancing across VMC Regions
  • Protect from VMC to existing DR side

HCX Advantage

  • Live Large-scale migration
  • DRaaS + HCX for Protection to DR site
  • Region-to-Region Migration
  • Secure migration and DR traffic
  • Network and IP preservation
  • High-scale L2 Extensibility

How To Get Started With VMware HCX Migrations

The examples above show how HCX can migrate your workloads (legacy or new versions) to a Physical Datacenter or a Hyperscalar and replicate your environment to a Disaster Recovery site.

Summary of VMware HCX migrations

In summary, VMware HCX is an application mobility platform that simplifies workload migration, rebalancing, and business continuity across data centers and clouds. HCX offers two types of migrations: vMotion and Bulk Migration. vMotion is the preferred method for live virtual machine migrations, while Bulk Migration is used for bulk workload transfers.

To ensure a successful HCX migration, organizations should plan, prepare, and configure HCX components, test the migration setup, perform the migration, and verify the migration to ensure that virtual machines and applications function as expected.

Overall, HCX provides a seamless and efficient migration experience for moving workloads between different environments, minimizing disruption to business operations and eliminating the need for manual intervention.

Conclusion:

VMware HCX is a powerful tool that enables organizations to migrate workloads between data centers and clouds with minimal disruption to business operations. Its features, such as unrestricted mobility, secure large-scale migrations, and hybrid networking, make it an ideal choice for organizations looking to simplify workload migration and business continuity.

By following the key steps mentioned earlier in this conversation, IT teams can ensure a successful HCX migration that meets their organization’s needs. Whether migrating virtual machines through vMotion or bulk migration, HCX provides a seamless and efficient experience for moving workloads between different environments.

Check my video about HCX

Share this article if you think it is worth sharing. If you have questions or comments, comment here, or contact me on Twitter.

©2023 ProVirtualzone. All Rights Reserved
images are VMware copyrighted.
By | 2023-04-14T12:07:20+02:00 April 14th, 2023|HCX, VMware Posts|0 Comments

About the Author:

I have over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. I have been working with Virtualization for more than 15 years (mainly VMware). I recently obtained certifications, including VCP DCV 2022, VCAP DCV Design 2023, and VCP Cloud 2023. Additionally, I have VCP6.5-DCV, VMware vSAN Specialist, vExpert vSAN, vExpert NSX, vExpert Cloud Provider for the last two years, and vExpert for the last 7 years and a old MCP. My specialties are Virtualization, Storage, and Virtual Backup. I am a Solutions Architect in the area VMware, Cloud and Backup / Storage. I am employed by ITQ, a VMware partner as a Senior Consultant. I am also a blogger and owner of the blog ProVirtualzone.com

Leave A Comment