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VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) Installation for VMware Cloud on AWS


VMware HCX abstracts on-premises environments versus cloud notions and presents capabilities to Virtual Machines as a continuous hybrid cloud.


VMware HCX enables:

  • Modernization of Mission-Critical Application Infrastructure with a minimal operational overhead without requiring a retrofit of legacy infrastructure.
  • New hybrid data center architectures, where premises/private cloud network topologies are efficiently replicated, accelerating application migration, mobility and business continuity, and at scale.
  • Coherent migration of hundreds of VMs, bi-directionally, in parallel, on a secure high-performance overlay, over an existing WAN, VPN, or Private Lines.


In this demonstration, we will look at the installation and description of HCX components in an on-premises environment.

  • Click to Continue.

HCX Components - Overview


HCX Cloud/HCX Target


This is the first component necessary to be enabled from within the SDDC in VMware Cloud on AWS. There’s another demonstration that walks you through how to get HCX Activated and deployed in your SDDC.

  • Click to Continue.

HCX Manager Appliance


HCX Manager is the main virtual appliance deployed by the downloaded OVA that gets deployed on the local vCenter.


It automates the deployment of peer appliances when a service like VMware Cloud on AWS is enabled at the source site. Once it’s successfully deployed in the local vCenter, it will register and add-in from within that vCenter Server.

  • Click to Continue.

HCX Interconnect Appliance


The HCX WAN Interconnect (AKA as HCX-IX / CGW / Cloud Gateway) service appliance is deployed when migration and/or DR services are enabled. This component automatically tunnels to its peer at the remote site (VMware Cloud on AWS) and provides an encrypted service path for migration services.

  • Click to Continue.

HCX WAN Optimization Appliance


The HCX WAN Optimization (HCX-WAN-OPT) service appliance is deployed when WAN Optimization services are enabled for a site pair. The WAN Optimization component only communicates with the HCX-IX, it does not make direct connections to its peer.

  • Click to Continue.

HCX Network Extension Appliance


The HCX Network Extension Appliance (HCX-EXT / L2C) is deployed when Network Extension services are enabled. This component automatically tunnels to its peer at the remote site and provides an encrypted service path for migration services.


HCX services are enabled on the source/on-premises site using the HCX Plugin from within the local vCenter Server.


Peer HCX service appliances in VMware Cloud on AWS are automatically deployed in the destination SDDC using the deployment steps as outlined in this demonstration.

  • Click to Continue.

On-premises installation of HCX Components

  • Right Click on VSAN-Cluster to deploy the previously downloaded HCX OVA.
  • Click Deploy OVF Template.
  • Click Local file to select the location of the OVA.
  • Click Choose Files button.
  • Click the HCX OVA.
  • Click NEXT.

In this step you must choose a Name for the VM that will deployed for HCX Manager, the name has already been entered for you.

  • Click NEXT.

Leave the defaults for compute resource.

  • Click NEXT.
  • Click the scroll bar on the right to Review details.
  • Click NEXT.
  • Click to Accept all license agreements.
  • Click NEXT.
  • Click NEXT as storage has been pre-selected for you.
  • Click dropdown under Destination Network to select the network where to place the HCX Manager VM.
  • Click to select Management network.

Keep in mind that all HCX components should be installed in the same Management Network where vCenter and other VMware components are installed. Assigning HCX Appliances to a different network is supported as long as the HCX appliances have unrestricted access to the Management Network where vCenter/ESXi servers are installed.


Also please keep in mind that network where HCX appliances are installed, CANNOT be the network selected to be stretched to VMware Cloud on AWS if you plan to stretch networks to VMware Cloud on AWS.

  • Click NEXT.
  • Click the Password field and the values will be entered for you for passwords.

HCX Manager needs and ‘admin’ and ‘root’ user passwords created as these users are assigned to the appliance once deployed for administrative/configuration purposes.

  • Click the Password field for user ‘root’.
  • Click Hostname field and choose a hostname for your HCX Manager appliance, this will be pre-filled for you.
  • Click the scroll bar on the right to go down to the other options.
  • Click the Network 1 IPv4 Address and the information will be pre-filled for you.

This is the IP address from the Management Network on-premises where your HCX Manager appliance will connect to.

  • Click to enter the IPv4 prefix Length, it will be pre-filled for you.
  • Click to enter the default gateway for this VM. It will be pre-filled for you.
  • Click to enter the DNS Server List.
  • Click to enter the domain Search list.
  • Click the scroll bar on the right to go down to the other options.
  • Click to enter the NTP server list.
  • Click to enable SSH service on the appliance.
  • Click NEXT.
  • Click FINISH.
  • Click the 2 arrows up on the lower right hand side to show the lower task bar to keep track of progress of deploying HCX Manager.

As you can see the deployment is in progress. This progress is accelerated on your behalf, but you can typically expect anywhere around 10 minutes for this process to complete.

  • Click on the newly created HCX-Manager VM.
  • Click the power on button.

After HCX Manager powers on for the first time, it usually takes anywhere between 5-15 minutes for all the web services within it to become available. At this point, open another browser tab to log in to the HCX Manager Administrative Console.

  • Click the + sign on the browser tab.

Address for HCX Manager is https://ipaddress:9443


Enter admin for user and the password you set during the install.

  • Click LOG IN.

At this point you are ready to activate HCX. As listed in pre-requisites section, TCP 443 access from the HCX Manager appliance to https://connect.hcx.vmware.com should be available.

  • Click to enter the Activation key obtained from the VMware Cloud on AWS portal.
  • Click ACTIVATE.
  • Click to enter the geographical location of your on-premises vCenter Server.
  • Click CONTINUE.
  • Click to enter a desired name for the appliance.
  • Click CONTINUE.
  • Click YES, CONTINUE.
  • Click to enter the on-premises vCenter FQDN or IP address, also make sure the user has vCenter Administrative rights in your local vCenter Server.
  • Click to enter this information.
  • Click CONTINUE.
  • Click to enter either the FQDN or IP address for your SSO/PSC appliances.

For embedded PSC, the FQDN and/or IP should be the same as your vCenter Server, the URL entered here should look like this:


EMBEDDED PSC: https://vcenterIPorFQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk


EXTERNAL PSC: https://pscIPorFQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk

  • Click CONTINUE.

At this point the HCX Manager appliance is ready to be restarted to complete its configuration. If you are logged in to vCenter through the vSphere Web Client, you will need to log out and log back in, the HCX add-in should now appear in your vCenter server after the appliance restarts.

  • Click RESTART.
  • Click to close this browser tab.
  • Click Menu in your vCenter Server.
  • Click Shortcuts.
  • Click HCX add-in icon.

If successfully deployed, your HCX interface should look somewhat this way. At this point, you are ready to connect your VMware Cloud on AWS environment by doing what is called a Site Pairing.

  • Click NEW SITE PAIRING.
  • Click Register new Connection.

In this step, the Site URL from the VMware Cloud on AWS HCX deployment should be entered along with the cloudadmin@vmc.local user name and password.

  • Click Register.

This process usually takes a couple of minutes. If the process is successful you should see the site pair successfully completed.

  • Click to expand the Remote Site Connection details.

You can see the sites are now successfully paired: On-premises vCenter with vCenter in VMware Cloud on AWS.


Now it’s time to deploy the rest of the HCX Appliances.

  • Click to select the HCX Interconnect Service appliance.
  • Click to select the WAN Optimization Service appliance.
  • Click to select the Network Extension Service appliance.
  • Click NEXT.
  • Click to select Network where the HCX Interconnect Appliance will be placed.

Remember this preferably must be from the Management network on-premises.

  • Click to select Management for Network.
  • Click to select Cluster/Host.
  • Click VSAN-Cluster.

At this point you may choose to give this appliance the name of your choice, this has been pre-filled for you.

  • Click to enter the IP address for this appliance. Needs to entered in this format: 10.10.10.10/24
  • Click to enter the Default Gateway.
  • Click to enter the DNS information.
  • Click to select the vMotion Network.
  • Click to select vMotion. Remember this is another of the pre-requisites for HCX installation.
  • Click to enter the IP address from the vMotion Network.
  • Click to enter a password for users ‘admin’ and ‘root’.
  • Click Next.

In the WAN Optimization Service, you can limit the amount of bandwidth the appliance should use. It defaults to 10,000 Mb/s.

  • Click Next.

In the Network Extension Service options, select a Distributed Switch first. If the network(s) that you plan to stretch to VMware Cloud on AWS exist in more than 1 Distributed Switch, each vDS will need to have a Network Extension Appliance deployed.

  • Click to Select a Distributed Switch.
  • Click to select VDS-HCX.
  • Click to select a Compute option.
  • Click to select VSAN-Cluster.
  • Click to select Management Network.
  • Click to select Management.

At this point you may choose to give the appliance any name of your choosing.

  • Click IP address/PL to enter an IP address.
  • Click to enter a Default Gateway.
  • Click to enter a password for users ‘admin’ and ‘root’.
  • Click Next.
  • Click scroll bar on the right to review entries.
  • Click Finish.
  • Click Interconnect in the left pane.

Here you will see the progress of the deployment. Normally this step takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Upon completion you should see not only the additional HCX appliances successfully deployed but also the Tunnels Active and Up, both from the HCX Interconnect and HCX Network Extension Service.

  • Click to expand HCX-CGW.
  • Click to expand HCX-CGW-WANOPT.
  • Click scroll bar on the right to scroll down.
  • Click to expand HCX-L2C.

Now that the HCX appliances have been deployed, we are ready to Extend our first network into VMware Cloud on AWS.

  • Click Network Extension in the left pane.
  • Click Extend network.
  • Click to select Stretch-VLAN network.
  • Click to enter the IP address of the Default Gateway for this network, you should use this format: 1.2.3.4/24
  • Click Stretch.

After a few minutes the exercise of stretching the network to VMware Cloud on AWS should complete.

  • Click to expand the newly stretched network.

UNSTRETCHING A NETWORK


This is to only illustrate how un-stretching of a network happens within HCX.

  • Click on unstretch.
  • Click the arrow on the right to expand.
  • Click to select Connect cloud network to cloud edge gateway after unstretching.

What this is referring to is the fact that doing a network stretch, the default gateway for that network always stays on the on-premises side. During the unstretching of such network, you have the option to select for this default gateway to be moved to the VMware Cloud on AWS side, during this option, the former stretched network, now becomes a local network on the VMware Cloud on AWS side.

  • Click Close as we don’t want to unstretch this network.

RECAP

  • Click Dashboard.

Here you have a view of your HCX environment, Site Pairings, Active Migrations, Past Migrations, Alerts, etc.

  • Click the scroll bar on the right to go down.
  • Click Interconnect.

In this view you can see the additional components of HCX deployed as well as the status of the Tunnels and/or appliances.

  • Click Network Extension.

In this view you can see all networks that have been stretched, you can also extend additional networks if desired.

  • Click Migration.

In this view is where you would select to Migrate Virtual Machines, it also gives you a view to past migrations that have occurred.

  • Click Disaster Recovery.

HCX also has a Disaster Recovery option. HCX leverages vSphere Replication to replicate VM’s for Migration, but it can also leverage the technology to protect such VM’s versus migrating them.

  • Click Administration.

This view is where you would see any updates available to HCX if they were available. Also this is the place where you can collect audit logs in the event of troubleshooting.

  • Click Support.

In the event you may need support, our support engineers may ask some information from this view.


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