VMware HCX Migration Workflow

In my last post, I provided a detailed explanation of the migration methods available within VMware HCX. Specifically, I discussed when to utilize No-Downtime, Cold Migration, and/or Bulk Replication and how each method operates. In this final post on HCX migration, I explain and walk through the workflow used to migrate to–and from–the IBM Cloud.

HCX  Migration Workflow

To begin migrating virtual machines using either No-Downtime, or Cold, or Bulk Replication methods, you simply navigate to the home screen of vCenter and click on the HCX icon.

Once you’re presented with the HCX dashboard, select the “Migration” tab and click on “Migrate Virtual Machines”.

Next, HCX will present the first page of the migration wizard. On the top of the screen, you can apply default options to an entire migration set and select whether migration is a reverse migration.

Note that you can also select options on a per-VM basis (i.e., apply a specialized configuration for a subset of VMs). This is useful if you wish to perform No-Downtime migration on a few VMs and Bulk Replication with multiple VMs.

HCX Migration Options

As you can tell, there are a few options that you can select and apply to the migration. Let’s review them in more detail:

  • Force Power-off VM: HCX will power-off the virtual machine before migrating it to the cloud. (Not applicable for powered-off VMs, obviosuly).
  • Retain MAC Address: HCX will ensure the MAC address of each VM is retained during migration.
  • Upgrade Virtual Hardware: HCX will upgrade the virtual hardware of the virtual machine to the highest supported version of the target vSphere ESXi server in the cloud.
  • Upgrade VMware Tools: HCX will initiate an update of the VMware Tools on next boot of the virtual machine.
  • Destination Container: Select the cluster, host, resource pool, or folder on the destination environment; cloud or, if reverse, on-prem.
  • Destination Storage / Disk Format : Select the datastore on the destination environment and whether you wish to keep the same disk format or convert to a thick or thin disk format.
  • Remove Snapshots: HCX will remove all snapshots of the virtual machine.
  • Force unmount ISO images:  HCX will forcibly remove ISO mounts from the virtual machine.
Virtual Machine Network(s)

So now that you’ve read through the options associated with migration, you’re probably wondering how HCX handles the network assignment. Specifically, how does HCX assign the destination network(s) for the virtual machine(s)? There are three answers:

  • If the virtual machine does not have a network configured on the source, the migration workflow does not populate the network option.

  • If the virtual machine has a network assigned, but the network is not extended into the cloud, HCX will populate the network option with the destination networks. You must select the destination network before proceeding with the migration. HCX will give you an error message and force you to select the destination network.

  • If the virtual machine has a network assigned and that same network is extended into the cloud, HCX will automatically populate the destination network. That is, HCX will select the source network you extended into the cloud using the HCX network stretch functionality.

Completing the Migration

After you’ve selected the machines to migrate and chosen the options described in the post, you move onto the validation page. During this part of the workflow, HCX validates the migration options and alerts you if there’s an error or warning. Clicking “Finish” on this screen executes the migration process.

Monitoring the Migration

Once you’ve kicked off a migration, you can monitor the progress of the migration within the “Migration” tab.

Next Up…

That does it for this post and concludes my three-part series on HCX migration. Thanks for reading!

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