Migration to VMware NSX-T Data Center (NSX-T) is top of mind for customers who are on NSX for vSphere (NSX-V). Broadly speaking, there are two main methods to migrate from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center: In Parallel Migration and In Place Migration. This blog post is a high-level overview of the above two approaches to migration.

2 Methods for VMware NSX Migration

Customers could take one of two approaches for migration.

In Parallel Migration:

In this method, NSX-T infrastructure is deployed in parallel along with the existing NSX-V based infrastructure.  While some components of NSX-V and NSX-T, such as management, could coexist, compute clusters running the workloads would be running on its own hardware.  This could be net new hardware or reclaimed unused hardware from NSX-V.

Migration of the workload in this approach could take couple of different approaches.

  • Cattle:  New workloads are deployed on NSX-T and the older workloads are allowed to die over time.
  • Pets:  Lift and shift workloads over to the new NSX-T infrastructure.

In Place Migration

There is simpler method though!  A method that doesn’t require dedicated hardware.  It’s an in place migration approach.  Curious?   This method uses the NSX-T Data Center’s built in tool, the Migration Coordinator.

2 Methods for VMware NSX Migration

A Closer Look at NSX-T Migration Coordinator

Migration Coordinator is built into NSX-T Data Center and is available from the NSX-T 2.4 release onwards. It’s accessible from NSX-T Data Center GUI by clicking System -> Migrate.

This process is disabled by default because Migration from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center is not an every-day task.  Enable the process by running the command, start service migration-coordinator, on NSX-T manager console.

Migration Coordinator

The Migration Coordinator tool not only helps migrate from NSX from vSphere to NSX-T Data Center using the same hardware, but it also helps migrate the actual configuration over from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center via GUI. It migrates both the networking components and their configuration and the configured security posture including the rules and groups.

5 Pre-Migration Steps

Following steps are necessary, before starting the Migration Coordinator.

  1. Install NSX-T (Migration Coordinator is a tool built into NSX-T)
  2. Install NSX-T Edges (do not configure)
  3. Provide a TEP pool
  4. Create Compute Manager pointing to the vCenter connected to NSX-V
  5. Ensure NSX-V is in a stable healthy state with no pending changes since no changes are allowed during the migration phase

5 Step Process for Migration Coordinator

Step 1: Import Configuration

In this step we connect and import existing configuration from NSX-V.

Step 1: Import Configuration

Step 2: Resolve Any Configuration Related Issues When Migrating from NSX-V to NSX-T

This step provides GUI interface to edit and accept the imported configuration to suite NSX-T.  For example, in the following case, use the Resolve Configuration page to accept that a host won’t be migrated as NSX-V is not installed on it.  On this page, we will also enter the VLAN to use for NSX-T Edge Transport Nodes.

Step 2: Resolve Configuration

Step 3: Migrate Configuration to NSX-T

Next step in this process is actual migration of configuration from NSX-V to NSX-T.

Step 3: Migrate Configuration

Step 4: Migrate Edges

Next, we migrate the edges.

Step 4: Migrate Edges

Step 5: Migrate Hosts

Finally, migrate the hosts over.  There are few options here such as selecting whether the migration happens serially or in parallel and should there be a pause after migrating each group etc.

Step 5: Migrate Hosts

Migration Coordinator Demo

Curious how this works?  Please check out the following short demo video on how the Migration Coordinator tool works.


VMware NSX-T Technical Resources

Want to learn more?  Please check out the Migrate to NSX-T Resource Page or see below for additional resources.


Design Guides on NSX-T:

Try out NSX-T for free: