June 8, 2022 By Bryan Buckland
Neil Taylor
Sami Kuronen
3 min read

With the fast-approaching end of life of VMware 6.5/6.7 and NSX-V, customers need to prepare and take action to perform migration activities.

Enterprises need to plan a seamless upgrade to VMware vSphere 7.x and VMware NSX-T and take advantage of the latest security, automation, network scalability and more.

IBM Cloud can help businesses upgrade to the latest vSphere and NSX-T. Before you start migrating your workloads, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Understanding workloads: Your existing NSX-V-based instance was deployed previously and it hosts the current workloads and NSX-V network configurations. For a smooth transition, it is key to understand the environment, the workloads that are deployed on it and the NSX-V with the underlay network configuration. 
  2. Analyse your capacity needs: Before you deploy a new NSX-T-based vCenter Server target, thoroughly estimate your capacity needs. Optimize and size your new hosts and clusters by using the latest hardware options available in IBM Cloud. If you’re not sure, you can check the latest options in the IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions console or contact your local sales representatives.
  3. Don’t forget your networking needs: You can deploy the new vCenter Server with NSX-T instance in new VLANs and a new pod, or you can use existing VLANs. 25GE NICs might not be available on the same pod. Also, you cannot move the subnets between VLANs if, for example, you need to reuse the public IP addresses. Analyse your networking needs and then decide.
  4. Network configurations from NSX-V to NSX-T: As the NSX-T architecture is different, you have the opportunity to design and implement the overlay network and configurations based on NSX-T best practices. NSX-T offers scripting capabilities, or you can use Terraform to define your topology. Alternatively, you can alternatively use the NSX-T Migration Coordination tool or third-party tools to migrate your existing network configurations, firewall and load-balancing rules.
  5. Layer 2 (L2) Network Extension with Bridging or HCX: L2 extension is typically used between NSX-V logical switches and NSX-T overlay segments. You can use either NSX-T Bridging or HCX Network Extension here. HCX provides tools for bulk and vMotion migrations, too.
  6. Choose your best option to migrate workloads: After your network configurations are migrated or prepared for migration, you can start to migrate your workloads between the environments. Here, you have a choice of various methods. With HCX, you have a single tool to do both L2 extension and migration. You can also use Advanced vMotion and storage vMotion between the environments. In addition, you can use services and tools from Zerto or Veeam.

The way forward

On IBM Cloud, the VMware NSX-V to VMware NSX-T migration is done by following the VMware® lift-and-shift migration model. In this approach, the IBM Cloud automation is used to deploy a new vCenter Server instance on the same or different VLANs. With this action, you can perform both NSX-V to NSX-T migration and workload migration:

This diagram demonstrates the lift-and-shift architecture utilizing the VMware Solutions automated deployment. The lift-and-shift migration approach enables you to do the following:

  • Plan the migration flexibly based on your workload requirements.
  • Adopt a modular migration approach; for example, partial subnet evacuation.
  • Configure a new network topology in the NSX-T environment.
  • Fail-back of a migration wave, as the existing NSX-V environment is still running.
  • Logically extend networks between both environments for smooth network migration.
  • Migrate the workloads gradually from NSX-V to NSX-T.

Learn more

IBM is committed to supporting its customers and making this migration as seamless as possible.

Check out the NSX V2T Migration and FAQ documentation:

As an alternative to the automation deployment, utilize the VPC Bare metal capabilities for the migration target by following the VPC roll-your-own solution tutorial.

IBM is committed to supporting its customers and making this migration as seamless as possible.

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