Azure VMware Solution (AVS) for VMware Admins - Assessment and Migration
Published Mar 30 2022 03:00 AM 6,611 Views

Assessing your environment

There are many tools you may or not be familiar with, depending on your background to, assess which workloads are eligible to migrate to Azure VMware Solution.  Microsoft offers Azure Migrate where you can download an OVA (open virtual appliance) file of the Azure Migrate appliance for your on-premises vSphere environment. To read more on setting up an Azure Migrate project more detail is described here Create an AVS assessment with Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate will give you a visual on VMs that are ready to migrate as-is and also flag any VMs that may encounter issues and how to fix the problem.  Below is an example of an Azure Migrate project assessment


Azure Migrate Assessment for AVSAzure Migrate Assessment for AVS


Another common tool that you may already own is VMware vRealize Operations . Not only is this solution supported within AVS to integrate to your on-premises vSphere environment, you can use it to assess your migration options to the Azure VMware Solution.   Read more on VMware's site here VMware docs migration planning Migration Planning


Migration with HCX

In this post, I will be focusing on migration using VMware HCX (Hybrid Cloud Extension). HCX is a VMware offering that brings infrastructure hybridity, workload mobility and operational automation. What is infrastructure hybridity? It can be described and abstracting your on-premises and cloud-resource workloads so that they can migrate from one site to the other. There is no retrofit to provide this multisite mobility service. Which is COOL! 


Ok what does this have to do with my AVS environment? Well, you can connect your on-premises vCenter to your AVS SDDC and vMotion workloads to Azure. Once you’ve assessed which workloads you would like to migrate, you have to plan your HCX deployment. I will go over the live migration/bulk migration capabilities in this post.


Now we know what it’s capable of, but how do I set it up?
Well with AVS you get an Azure ExpressRoute automatically and you will either need to set up an ExpressRoute circuit on your premises to  enable Global Reach functionality or spin up a VPN connection into the SDDC. This allows traffic to flow east-west all on Microsoft’s global fast backbone. Read up on the ports and IPs needed to plan your HCX deployment with our Learn document. 



Management network - Use the same management network as the on-premises VMware cluster.
- At a minimum, select two IPs on this network segment for HCX.
- Create a new /26 network segment for larger environments.
- Present that network segment as a port group to the on-premises VMware cluster.
Uplink network - Use the same management network for the uplink network segment.
vMotion network - Use the same network as vMotion by the on-premises VMware cluster.
- At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX.
- You might need more IPs, depending on the scale of the deployment.
- The vMotion network should be exposed to a distributed virtual switch or vSwitch0.
- If the vMotion isn't configured that way, you'll need to modify the configuration.
- VMware environments typically use non-routed network segments for vMotion, which doesn't cause a problem.
Replication network - Use the same network segment as the management and uplink network segments.
- If the on-premises hosts use a dedicated replication VMkernel network, reserve two IP addresses in this network segment.
- Use the replication VMkernel network for the replication network segment.


HCX Deployment

First we have to enable HCX in our Azure VMware Solution private cloud.  This video walks you through activating and downloading the OVA file for deployment.   I broke the steps into small videos to walk you through the deployment.  AVS is already deployed at this point.  As soon as we activate HCX in our environment the manager component is installed in our Software Defined DataCenter (SDDC). Now that HCX is activated in AVS.  We can download the OVA file to deploy from our on-premises vSphere environment.


Next up is deploying the HCX appliance from the .OVA file we downloaded earlier.  Not an exciting video but shows all the steps to deploy from the OVA file.



After deploying, we activate the HCX appliance to our on-premises vCenter.  


Now that HCX is activated and on our vCenter on-premises, I am going to pair it to the vCenter I have running in my Azure VMware solution. At the end you'll see the two data-centers connected.


The next important step is creating Network Profiles.  Go back to your on-prem vCenter and select HCX-->Interconnect-->Multisite Service Mesh.  From there you will create a profile for management, vMotion and so forth as shown in the next video.



Now that we have our networks lined up we can create a Compute Profile


Deploying the Service Mesh.  After this completes you'll notice components like the WAN Interconnect Appliance (IX) in your vSphere environment. It assists in workload replication and migration and will establish its own dedicated IPSec tunnels for communication to the other appliance within AVS.  There will also be a host that looks like it is an ESXi host.  This is the proxy deployed by the WAN Interconnect appliance so that vCenter thinks there is a local target host.


Now it's time to migrate!  Let's put all the pieces together and see if we can vMotion a VM to AVS


I hope these bite size videos help in understanding the how and why with deploying HCX and using it for a migration  If you have any questions or comments, please free fee to comment below.  


**Please note as of this writing you can upgrade HCX Advanced  to HCX Enterprise for free for 12 months.  Read up on it here


If you want a quick deployment of AVS, there is a form for that will help you create a PowerShell script to download and deploy.  It is nice if you want to play around but definitely not recommended for Production.




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‎Jul 21 2022 12:51 AM
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