How to Migrate VMware Cloud Director from NSX-V to NSX-T (part 2)

This is an update of the original article with the same title published last year How to Migrate VMware Cloud Director from NSX-V to NSX-T and includes the new enhancements of the VMware NSX Migration for VMware Cloud Director version 1.2.1 that has been released yesterday.

The tool’s main purpose is to automate migration of VMware Cloud Director Organization Virtual Data Centers that are NSX-V backed to a NSX-T backed Provider Virtual Data Center. The original article describes how exactly it is accomplished and what is the impact of migrated workloads from the networking and compute perspective.

The migration tool is continually developed and additional features are added to either enhance its usability (improved roll back, simplified L2 bridging setup) or to support more use cases based on new features in VMware Cloud Director (VCD). And then there is a new assessment mode! Let me go into more details.

Directly Connected Networks

The VCD release 10.2.2 added support to use in NSX-T backed Org VDCs directly connected Organization VDC networks. Such networks are not connected to a VDC Gateway and instead are just connected directly to a port group backed external network. The typical usage is for service networks, backup networks or colocation/MPLS networks where routing via the VDC Gateway is not desired.

The migration tool now supports migration of these networks. Let me describe how it is done.

The VCD external network in NSX-V backed PVDC is port group backed. It can be backed by one or more port groups that are typically manually created VLAN port groups in vCenter Server or they can also be VXLAN backed (system admin would create NSX-V logical switch directly in NSX-V and then use its DVS port groups for the external network). The system administrator then can create in the Org VDC a directly connected network that is connected to this external network. It inherits its parent’s IPAM (subnet, IP pools) and when tenant connects a VM to it it is just wired to the backing port group.

The migration tool first detects if the migrated Org VDC direct network is connected to an external network that is also used by other VDCs and based on that behaves differently.

Colocation / MPLS use case

If the external network is not used by any other Org VDC and the backing port group(s) is VLAN type (if more port groups are used they must have the same VLAN), then it will create in NSX-T logical segment in VLAN transport zone (specified in the YAML input spec) and import it to the target Org VDC as imported network. The reason why direct connection to external network is not used is to limit the external network sprawl as the import network feature perfectly matches the original use case intent. After the migration the source external network is not removed automatically and the system administrator should clean them up including the vCenter backing port groups at their convenience.

Note that no bridging is performed between the source and target network as it is expected the VLAN is trunked across source and target environments.

The diagram below shows the source Org VDC on the left and the target one on the right.

Service Network Use Case

If the external network is used by other Org VDCs, the import VLAN segment method cannot be used as each imported Org VDC network must be backed by its own logical segment and has its own IPAM (subnet, pool). In this case the tool will just create directly connected Org VDC network in the target VDC connected to the same external network as the source. This requires that the external network is scoped to the target PVDC – if the target PVDC is using different virtual switch you will need first to create regular VLAN backed port group there and then add it to the external network (API only currently). Also only VLAN backed port group can be used as no bridging is performed for such networks.

Assessment Mode

The other big feature is the assessment mode. The main driver for this feature is to enable service providers to see how much ready their environment is for the NSX-V to T migration and how much redisign will be needed. The assessment can be triggered against VCD 10.0, 10.1 or 10.2 environments and only requires VCD API access (the environment does not yet need to be prepared for NSX-T).

The tool will during the assessment check all or specified subset of NSX-V backed Org VDCs and assess every feature used there that impacts its migration viability. Then it will provide detailed and summarized report where you can see what ratio of the environment *could* be migrated (once upgraded to the latest VCD 10.2.2). This is provided in Org VDC, VM and used RAM units.

The picture below shows example of the summary report:

Note that if there is one vApp in a particular Org VDC that cannot be migrated, the whole Org VDC is counted as not possible to migrate (in all metrics VM and RAM). Some features are categorized as blocking – they are simple not supported by either NSX-T backed Org VDC or the migration tool (yet), but some issues can be mitigated/fixed (see the remediation recommendations in the user guide).

Conclusion

As mentioned the migration tool is continuosly developed and improved. Together with the next VMware Cloud Director version we can expect additional coverage of currently unsupported features. Especially the shared network support is high on the radar.

Import Running VM to vCloud Director

Another nice little feature in the recently released vCloud Director 8.10 (read eight dot ten) is the ability to import running VM under vCloud Director management.

In the past the vCloud system administrator could import virtual machine running in vCloud Director managed vSphere environment, however that VM had to be turned off.

Import from vSphere

Now in vCloud DIrector 8.10 the VM can be running which enables new use cases:

  • You can take existing vSphere environment under management of vCloud Director without impacting the workloads. Example would be going from vSphere only managed services to self service with vSphere + vCloud Director
  • Migrations of running VMs from vSphere to vCloud Director or between vCloud Directors. Cross vCenter Server vMotion nicely complements this feature. Cross-Cloud vMotion.

There are currently some limitations and considerations:

  • It is API only feature. The GUI button (above) can be used to import only powered-off VMs.
  • VM must be running on resources that are available to the Org VDC where it is being imported. That includes compute (cluster), storage policies and network port group. Obviously the networking is the most complex to get it right during the migration and requires some thought.
  • Import of VM with IDE controller is not supported.
  • A new vApp is created for the imported VM. You cannot import VM to an existing vApp.
  • As an input to the API call MoRef ID of the VM must be provided. The existing vCloud API call to list vSphere VMs outside of vCloud Director management however does not list running VMs. Therefore the MoRef ID must be acquired with vSphere API.

Example:

POST https://vcd-01a.corp.local/api/admin/extension/vimServer/3702cc8f-c23f-4a66-b9f3-73fc4b58ba82/importVmAsVApp

Accept: application/*+xml;version=20.0
x-vcloud-authorization: 3e131f9e3bc240269a7758fdb6c1bf7f
Content-type: application/vnd.vmware.admin.importVmAsVAppParams+xml


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<ImportVmAsVAppParams xmlns="http://www.vmware.com/vcloud/extension/v1.5" name="ImportedTestVM" sourceMove="true">
   <VmMoRef>vm-86</VmMoRef>
   <Vdc href="https://vcd-01a.corp.local/api/vdc/a10bdf92-18dc-474b-aafc-42d31ba83207" />
</ImportVmAsVAppParams>