VMware HCX 4.0

VMware HCX 4.0.0 | 23 FEB 2021 | Build 17667890 (Connector), Build 17667891 (Cloud)

What is VMware HCX

VMware HCX delivers secure and seamless app mobility and infrastructure hybridity across vSphere 6.0 and later versions, both on-premises and in the cloud. HCX abstracts the distinct private or public vSphere resources and presents a Service Mesh as an end-to-end entity. The HCX Interconnect can then provide high-performance, secure, and optimized multi-site connectivity to achieve infrastructure hybridity and present multiple options for bi-directional virtual machine mobility with technologies that facilitate the modernization of legacy data centers.

For more information, see the VMware HCX User Guide in the VMware Documentation Center.

First Change in HCX 4.0

Starting with the HCX 4.0 release, software versioning adheres to X.Y.Z Semantic Versioning, where X is the major version, Y is the minor version, and Z is the maintenance version. For more information about HCX software support, lifecycles, and version skew policies, see VMware HCX Software Support and Version Skew Policy. This document includes HCX Support Policy for Vacating Legacy vSphere Environments.

For information regarding HCX interoperability, see VMware Product Interoperability Matrix.

Upgrading to 4.0 from HCX 3.5.3 R-Releases

Prior to Semantic Versioning, HCX 3.5.3 releases were identified as “R” releases, such as R147. Review the following information prior to upgrading from R-based releases to HCX 4.0: 

  • Upgrading to HCX 4.0 is supported only from the following HCX Service Updates: R147 and  R146.
  • HCX Service Update R146 is the oldest version suitable for upgrade. Customers are required to move to R146 or later to support upgrading to HCX 4.0. 
  • Assistance with upgrading from out-of-support releases will be on a best-effort basis.
  • VMware sends administrative messages to HCX systems that are running out of support and require upgrade. 

Note: 3.5.3/R146-R147 HCX Manager systems will display release code R148 as a prefix to the 4.0.0 version. This is a known condition during the transition. 4.0.x HCX Managers will not display the R release codes.

So What’s New in HCX 4.0

VMware HCX 4.0 is a major release that introduces new functionality and enhancements.

Some of my highlights, then followed by all the details from the release notes

  • NSX Security Tag Migration – HCX Can now migrate NSX security tags associated to a virtual machine living in NSX for vSphere or NSX-T environments. This release does not migrate the security policies but only the security tags associated to the VM.
  • Usability – In-Service upgrade for Network Extension appliances, New event logs, estimated migration time metrics, Network Extension Metrics.
  • Improvements in OS assisted Migrations

Migration Enhancements

  • Mobility Migration Events  – The HCX Migration interface displays detailed event information with time lapse of events from the start of the migration operation. This information can help with understanding the migration process and diagnosing migration issues. See Viewing HCX Migration Event Details.
  • NSX Security Tag Migration – Transfers any NSX Security tags associated with the source virtual machine when selected as an Extended Option for vSphere to vSphere migrations. See Additional Migration Settings
  • Real-time Estimation of Bulk Migration – HCX analyzes migration metrics and provides an estimation of the time required to complete the transfer phase for every configured Bulk migration. The estimate is shown in the progress bar displayed on the Migration Tracking and Migration Management pages for each virtual machine migration while the transfer is in underway. For more information, see Monitoring Migration Progress for Mobility Groups.
  • OS Assisted Migration Scaling – HCX now supports 200 concurrent VM disk migrations across a four Service Mesh scale out deployment. A single Service Mesh deploys one Sentinel Gateway (SGW) and its peer Sentinel Data Receiver (SDR), and continues to support up to 50 active replica disks each. In this Service Mesh scale out model for OSAM, the HCX Sentinel download operation is presented per Service Mesh. See OS Assisted Migration in Linux and Windows Environments.
  • Migrate Custom Attributes for vMotion  –  The option Migrate Custom Attributes is added to the Extended Options selections for vMotion migrations. 
  • Additional Disk Formats for Virtual Machines – For Bulk, vMotion, and RAV migration types, HCX now supports these additional disk formats: Thick Provisioned Eager Zeroed, Thick Provisioned Lazy Zeroed. 
  • Force Power-off for In-Progress Bulk Migrations – HCX now includes the option to Force Power-off in-progress Bulk migrations, including the later stages of migration. 

Network Extension Enhancements

  • In-Service Upgrade – The Network Extension appliance is a critical component of many HCX deployments, not only during migration but also after migration in a hybrid environment. In-Service upgrade is available for Network Extension upgrade or redeploy operations, and helps to minimize service downtime and disruptions to on-going L2 traffic. See In-Service Upgrade for Network Extension Appliances

    Note: This feature is currently available for Early Adoption (EA). The In-Service mode works to minimize traffic disruptions from the Network Extension upgrade or redeploy operation to only a few seconds or less. The actual time it takes to return to forwarding traffic depends on the overall deployment environment.
  • Network Extension Details – HCX provides connection statistics for each extended network associated with a specific Network Extension appliance. Statistics include bytes and packets received and transferred, bit rate and packet rate, and attached virtual machine MAC addresses for each extended network. See Viewing Network Extension Details.

Service Mesh Configuration Enhancements

  • HCX Traffic Type Selection in Network Profile – When setting up HCX Network Profiles, administrators can tag networks for a suggested HCX traffic type: Management, HCX Uplink, vSphere Replication, vMotion, or Sentinel Guest Network. These selections then appear in the Compute Profile wizard as suggestions of which networks to use in the configuration. See Creating a Network Profile.

Usability Enhancements

  • HCX now supports scheduling of migrations in DRAFT state directly from the Migration Management interface.(PR/2459044)
  • All widgets in the HCX Dashboard can be maximized to fit the browser window. (PR/2609007)
  • The topology diagram shown in the Compute Profile now reflects when a folder is selected as the HCX Deployment Resource. (PR/2518674)
  • In the Create/Edit Network Profile wizard, the IP Pool/Range entries are visually grouped for readability. (PR/2456501)

Source VMware HCX 4.0 Release Notes

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