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Migrating VMware VMs using VMware HCX

This page describes how you can use VMware HCX to migrate your virtual machines (VMs) from your on-premises environment to Google Cloud VMware Engine. VMware HCX abstracts vSphere-based on-premises and cloud resources and presents them to applications as one continuous resource, creating a hybrid infrastructure.

Before you begin

  1. The VMware product versions that are used on premises support the desired migration type option (live/cold/bulk) with HCX. vMotion requires versions later than vCenter 5.5/ESXi 5.5. For more information about source vSphere versions and their corresponding supported HCX functionality, see the VMware product interoperability matrix.
  2. You must have a Google Cloud project and a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network.
  3. The on-premises environment must be connected to the VPC network in your project using either Cloud VPN or Cloud Interconnect. If you use Cloud VPN, review the VMware HCX Minimum Network Underlay Requirements for HCX.

The overview described in this page is independent of the specific versions of vSphere in your on-premises environment as long as your vSphere version is compatible with HCX.

Deploying a hybrid infrastructure solution using VMware HCX in your private cloud

Deploying the HCX migration solution for Google Cloud VMware Engine requires you to do the following:

Create a private cloud in your environment

Create a private cloud in your Google Cloud VMware Engine environment. When you create a private cloud, VMware Engine does the following for you:

  1. Deploys the HCX Cloud Manager appliance in the system management network and the management resource pool in your private cloud.
  2. Creates subnets for the HCX management network, the HCX vMotion network, and the HCX uplink network. If you entered an HCX subnet IP address range, then VMware Engine creates the subnets using that range.
  3. Configures HCX Cloud Manager with the compute profile (network pool) information.
  4. Establishes network connectivity between the various HCX service appliances and HCX Cloud Manager.
  5. Generates a license activation key and configures HCX Cloud Manager to use it.
  6. Registers HCX Cloud Manager with the VMware HCX service.

When creating a private cloud, you can optionally provide a subnet IP address range of /27 or higher for HCX services. If you want to deploy HCX after private cloud creation, reserve the subnet IP address range for HCX and contact Cloud Customer Care.

Set up infrastructure services in your private cloud

Configure infrastructure services in the private cloud for management of workloads and tools.

  1. To provide IP address lookup, IP address management, and name resolution services for your workloads in the private cloud, set up a DHCP and DNS server.
  2. Management VMs and hosts in your private cloud use the domain. To resolve requests to this domain, configure DNS forwarding on the DNS server.
  3. Optional. If you want users from your on-premises Active Directory on your private cloud, add an identity provider.

Connect your on-premises network to your private cloud

  1. Use your Cloud Interconnect to connect your on-premises network to your private cloud.
  2. Add your VMware Engine subnet IP address ranges to custom routes for the Cloud Router that terminates the Cloud Interconnect attachment.
  3. Open required network ports on your on-premises firewall.

Prepare for HCX Cloud Manager installation in your on-premises environment

  1. Download the HCX Connector OVA from HCX Cloud Manager.
    1. Access the VMware Engine portal
    2. From the Resources page, click your private cloud.
    3. From the vSphere Management Network page, click the FQDN for HCX and sign in to HCX Cloud Manager.
    4. In HCX Cloud Manager, go to Administration > System Updates.
    5. Click Request download link and download the OVA file.
  2. Update HCX Cloud Manager to the latest version available from the HCX Cloud Manager UI.
  3. Download a license activation key for your on-premises HCX Connector.
    1. In your VMware Engine portal, go to Resources and select your private cloud.
    2. In the Technology Stack section, click Download HCX Activation Key to download a file containing your key. You are responsible for storing and managing the downloaded activation key.

If needed, you can generate a new HCX activation key by clicking Generate HCX Activation Key. Newly generated keys are appended to the end of the downloadable file containing generated activation keys.

Install HCX Connector in your on-premises environment

Install and configure HCX Connector in your on-premises environment by following the instructions in the VMware HCX User Guide.

  1. Prepare your on-premises environment for HCX Connector installation.
    1. Identify available IP addresses.
    2. If necessary, create vLANs/subnets.
  2. Deploy the HCX Connector OVA on your on-premises vSphere environment.
  3. Use the activation key downloaded earlier, and register your HCX Connector instance with VMware.
  4. Configure HCX Connector.

Use HCX Cloud Manager for workload migration

To learn how to use HCX to migrate workloads from your on-premises environment to your private cloud, see the VMware HCX User Guide.

Here are some of the operations you can perform:

  • Pair the two sites (on-premises and private cloud)
  • Perform and schedule migrations:
    • Cold
    • Bulk
    • vMotion
  • Extend layer 2 networks

External references