What’s New in NSX-T 3.1.1 

VMwareNSX-T 3.1.1 is a minor release that’s packed with features, particularly features that enable migration from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center. One of these is a GUI mode for modular migration —itself capability that was introduced with the previous release, NSX-T 3.1. Modular migration enables Lift and Shift model of migration, and in this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to leverage itBut first, let’s step back for a moment to look at Migration Coordinator.  

Migration Coordinator 

Migration Coordinator is a tool that was introduced two years ago,with NSX-T 2.4, to enable customers to migrate from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center.It’sa free tool that’s built into NSX-T Data Center. Migration Coordinator is flexible, with multiple options for migrating based on customer requirements. At a high level, these options fall into two categories.  

In Place: For customers who need tomigrateeverything— from edges,tocompute,toworkloadsin an automated manner andwith a workflow similar to anin-placeupgrade on existing hardware. 

Migration of Everything In Place

From a resource perspective, in-place migration only requires enough resources to host NSX-T manager appliances and edges, along with enough capacity per cluster to be able to vMotion all VMs from one host at a time in each cluster. 

While this approach, with minimal resource requirements and in-place migration on the same hardware, is ideal for most customers, there are some customers who would like to start with NSX-T on new hardware. This latter type of migration is called “lift and shift.”

Lift and Shift Migration with NSX-T Data Center Migration Coordinator

Life and Shift: In the enterprise, the lift and shift model is generally driven by a hardware refresh that coincides with a migration or enables implementation of design changes to an SDDC stack.  

In the lift and shift model of migration, customers have the flexibility to rearchitect the design and choose the components — such as DFW rules and security groups — that are to migrate from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center. 

Lift and Shift with Modular Migration 

Modular migration was initially introduced via API with NSX-T 3.1. With NSX-T 3.1.1, modular migration is available straight from the GUI. With modular migration, customers have the flexibility to use new hardware along with making any changes in NSX-T design while still migrating firewall rules and groups from NSX for vSphere. This helps avoid the need to rewrite firewall groups and rules. 

Modular migration enables customers to redesign their NSX-T Data Center without having to depend on the previous design with NSX for vSphere while still allowing customers to choose what is migrated. 

With modular migration, customers can time a migration based on workload requirements by migrating a workload at a time. Thus, modular migration, in combination with NSX-T bridging and vSphere vMotion, helps minimize downtime while moving workloads over to NSX-T. 

Modular Migration Prerequisites 

NSX for vSphere and vSphere itself both need to be in a green state, with no unpublished firewall rules. On the NSX-T side: 

  1. Migration Coordinator on the NSX-T Manager Appliance needs to be enabled via ssh using the command “start service migration-coordinator.”
  2. North/south connectivity should be up and running.
  3. Sufficient compute resources must be available to accommodate the workloads that will be moved via vMotion.  
  4. VNI (overlay id) of segments on the NSX-T Data Center side should match the Segment ID of logical segments on the NSX for vSphere side. Please refer to the previous blog for more details: https://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/2020/12/nsx-t-migration-coordinator-modular-migration.html/ 
  5. Finally, for migration with minimum downtime, use an NSX-T Data Center bridge to stretch and connect the logical segment on NSX-T with the logical switch on NSX for vSphere. Please refer to the previous blog for more details: https://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/2020/12/nsx-t-migration-coordinator-modular-migration.html/ 

Modular Migration Process   Overview 

Migration Coordinator’s modular migration feature is a simple four step process:  

  1. Import configuration 
  2. Resolve any configuration-related issues when migrating from NSX-V to NSX-T 
  3. Migrate configuration to NSX-T 
  4. Migrate workloads 
  5. Finalize configuration 

Once the 3rd step (migrate configuration) is done, customers are free to deploy other workloads on to their NSX-T infrastructure. Care must be taken not to create conflicts with objects that may be migrating over from NSX for vSphere. 

Some of components of the 4th  step (migrate workloads) may be run multiple times, with each iteration handling one or more workload units. 

Modular Migration Process – Closer Look 

Modular Migration is under the ADVANCED MIGRATION MODES on the Migrate pane. Please click to expand all the available options.

Modular Migration Process

Once expanded, the Migrate pane should be populated with all six migration options available with Migration Coordinator. Distributed Firewall, highlighted in red in the following image, is the mode to use for modular migration. 

Use Distributed Firewall For Modular Migration

Click on GET STARTED to start the modular migration mode. If you’re familiar with the Migration Coordinator in general, one thing that you will notice is that the workflow stays consistent with in-place mode. Select vCenter and NSX for vSphere to migrate, then click start. This phase will connect to vCenter and NSX for vSphere and import the existing configuration.

Connect to vCenter and NSX for vSphere

Once done, click on CONTINUE to go to the next phase of resolving any configuration related issues. Here, the tool will display any issues and recommended actions. Once, resolved, click on CONTINUE. 

Detect Any Issues and Recommended Actions

The next phase is the actual config migration phase. Simply click START and let the tool take care of configuring brand new NSX for Data Center instance, with rules and groups imported from the old NSX for vSphere.

Configure a Brand New NSX for Data Center Instance

Once done, the brand new NSX for Data Center instance is reconfigured with the rules and groups migrated over from NSX for vSphere. At this point, you can start moving workloads over from NSX for vSphere. 

Move Workloads Over from NSX for vSphere

Once done click FINISH.  

Want to see this in action?  Check it out here on YouTube.


To learn more, check out the following detailed whitepaper on Migration Coordinator:  https://nsx.techzone.vmware.com/resource/nsx-v-nsx-t-3x-migration-coordinator