VMware NSX-V to NSX-T migration

Asystec are an established VMware principal partner with multiple MSC’s (Master Service Competencies), most importantly an MSC in Network Virtualization. Asystec are well versed in both NSX-V and NSX-T implementations and are well positioned to assist customers in their V2T migrations.

VMware NSX-V End of Support will be January 2022 with technical guidance being extended to January 2023. Customers using NSX-V should be on version 6.4.x if they want support in 2021. These reasons alone should encourage customers utilizing NSX-V to review migration strategies to NSX-T. That said, the additional development and feature set within NSX-T might be the driver for your business to look forward to the V2T migration.

Why Migrate?

There are numerous reasons to migrate from NSX-V to NSX-T:

  • API driven approach to aid in automated deployments
  •  Increased security suite only available in NSX-T
  •  Native integration with container workloads

All very important to businesses looking for improved speed to market, better ROI and increased security. However, there is no more important reason than supportability!

VMware NSX-V End of Support will be January 2022 with technical guidance being extended to January 2023

The V2Tmigration is not optional, within the next few months/years it will become a reality to anyone using the market leading software.  

We would urge you to have your environment reviewed asap and a V2T migration planned before end of support hits in January 2022.

Migration Methods

There are two (2) main methods of migrating from NSX-V to NSX-T, in parallel and in-place migration. Click on this link to see how VMware highlight both these methods.

1. The in parallel migration method under the assumption that new kit can be purchased to build either a new cluster or new environment. This then allows the applications to be migrated to this new environment where NSX-T has been prepared.

2. The in-place migration is typically used when a customer doesn’t have any additional hardware for the migration other than the n+1 redundancy in the cluster for potential failures.

The in parallel migrations can come in two (2) flavors:

1. Co-exist: This strategy involved installing and configuring a greenfield NSX-T environment.  Then allowing the workloads and processes to natural migrated over to the new environment.  This approach is typically chosen when application workloads are treated as cattle, resulting in application rebuild/redeployments at regular intervals.

2. Lift and shift:  This strategy while like co-exist has one distinct difference. Rather than waiting for the applications and processes to naturally migrate over to the new environment, a migration is required.  This is typically the chosen method when the applications are treated more as pets and their lifecycle is years rather than weeks or months.

One tool you will hear a lot about in these V2T migration discussion is the VMware NSX-T Migration Coordination which for short will be referenced as MC. The MC is built into the NSX-T platform to assist in the migration of NSX-v environments to NSX-T environments. There are several caveats when running the MC against an NSX-V environment:

  • NSX-V version must be 6.4.4 or later
  • The NSX Managers must be in standalone mode (cross vCenter is not supported).
  • The vCenter and ESXi hosts must be on an NSX-T compatible version
  • The NSX-T Edges must be deployed via the OVA and not NSX-T Manager

Not ideal for all customers, but very useful if you meet the criteria.

 

What do Asystec recommend?

All migration methods come with pros and cons and while there is a used case for all of them, Asystec would recommend a co-existing approach, however we can assist with other migration methodologies.

Why do we recommend one (1) method over the others? Well, NSX-T is significantly different to NSX-V and we believe migrating one (1) configuration to the other will not give you the best end result. With our existing NSX-V skill set, we want to understand your current topology, explore your pain points, and try to get rid of them in a fresh NSX-T build.

Now we understand there is one (1) glaringly obvious issue here! Who’s going to migrate all our Firewall rules from one platform to another? We at Asystec understand the effort you went through to microsegment your environment in NSX-V and together with our partners we can seamlessly migrate your dFW rules from NSX-v to NSX-T. All while taking advantage of the freshly built NSX-T topology!  Win win!