Category Archives: HCX

Policy Routing with HCX Mobility Optimized Networking (MON)

**First and foremost, thank you Michael Kolos for the assist on this blog!!!**

If there is anything I’ve learned over the past four years with VMware Cloud on AWS (also applies to other hyperscalers) it’s that spinning up the SDDC is easy. It’s connecting on-premise and other cloud providers together that’s the hard part. In order to simplify these connections, VMware engineered a little bit of magic with VMware HCX™. In summary, VMware HCX™ is an application mobility platform designed for simplifying application migration, workload rebalancing and business continuity across datacenters and clouds. As a part of an HCX deployment, a few appliances are deployed. HCX Manager, WAN Interconnect (IX)m, WAN Optimization (WAN-OPT), Network Extension (L2C), and a Proxy Host. More details can be found here. For this post, I am going to focus on enabling MON via the HCX Network Extension and why you need to understand policy routing. I’ve run into this a few times with customers. Hopefully, this helps!!

So what is Mobility Optimized Networking?
Mobility Optimized Networking improves routed connectivity patterns for multi-segment applications and virtual machines with inter-VLAN dependencies as those virtual machines are migrated into the cloud. Without MON, HCX Network Extension expands the on-premises broadcast domain to the cloud SDDC while the first hop routing function remains at the source. The network “tromboning” effect is observed when virtual machines connected to different extended segments communicate. More information can be found here.

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Scenario: Customer has a Layer 2 network stretched via HCX L2C. In order for the customer to allow their teams to deploy and manage workloads on VMC on a secondary domain, they want to add a Windows Domain Controller as an Identity Source to the VMC SDDC vCenter. This DC is deployed on the same VLAN where the network is stretched. Firewall rules have been validated similar to my previous blog which details the rules needed for the domain controller to communicate with the vCenter. When trying to add the following error appears. F So what gives?!!!!!

Here’s my list of assumptions:

  • A source VM, on an HCX L2E network with MON enabled, and the VM set to use the local (MON) gateway – not the source(on-prem) L3 gateway.
  • Default policy routes (RFC1918) in place.
  • VM trying to reach the vCenter of the local SDDC (i.e. the one where the MON gateway is, not the source L3 gateway)

In this scenario, MON will only optimize the path for other VMs on the MON enabled networks whose gateway is also the MON network, or for routed segments in the same SDDC (connected to the same T1 Router aka Compute Gateway). The SDDC’s management CIDR (which vCenter is a part of) is not connected to the same T1 Route as the vCenter is connected to the Management Gateway. As a result, there is not a matching T1 route. Without this route, the traffic decision then moves to the policy routes. Since the vCenter is using private IP, which is in the default Policy routes for MON, the traffic will be sent back over the L2E to the source L3 gateway. Depending on the routing configuration, this path may or may not work.

To resolve this, we need to modify the default policy routes. Depending on what the desired path is (e.g. what destinations are reachable on the on-prem side), we can update them to match that. The easiest way to do this is to add a DENY route with the SDDC’s management CIDR to the Policy Routes.

In my lab, the SDDC uses 10.62.0.0/16 as the management CIDR, this is how you can add the Policy Route. Go to HCX Manager via the HCX Center Plug-in or HCX Manager URL and select Network Extension > Advanced > Policy Routes.

Enter in the SDDC Management CIDR as a deny rule.

Once this change is made, the Domain Controller is able to communicate with vCenter and is able to be added as an identity source.

VMworld 2021 – 11 Sessions I’m Excited About!!!!

While I’m disappointed I can’t see my coworkers and customers again this year at VMworld this October 5-7, I’m still looking forward to all the great content that will be shared. One of the benefits of virtual is again this year is that it’s free for all attendees! Here’s my Top 11.

VMware vSAN – Dynamic Volumes for Traditional and Modern Applications [MCL1084] – Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan are at it again presenting their deep knowledge of VSAN in both traditional and modern application use cases. I’m looking forward to see their take on VMware vSphere container storage interface (CSI) in Kubernetes! 

William Lam – App Modernization Deep Dive with VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Tanzu [MCL2290] – Is VMworld even VMworld without William?! I have been waiting for a long time to talk VMWonAWS and Tanzu!! For those of you who want to see modern apps with Tanzu on VMWonAWS, this session is a must!

Achieving Happiness: The Quest for Something New [IC1484] – Those of you who have met Amanda Blevins know that she’s not only about technology but is also passionate about personal development and brand building. Many things have changed over the past 18 months with our day to day profession and I’m anxious to see what insights Amanda and Steve Athanas (CIO UMass Lowell) will have for us!

A Guide to vSphere with VMware Tanzu: Day 2 Operations for the VI Admin [APP1718] – No doubt Dean Lewis and Simon Conyard will bring their technical acumen and British wit to the session as they cover basic Kubernetes architecture in a way that makes sense for the VI Admin. Kubernetes is a fun word to say, but it’s a completely different thing to say AND do in the enterprise….at the end of the day, you still need to manage the application. These two gents will show you how!

An End-to-End Demo of Day 0 to Day 2 VMware Tanzu Management with vRealize [APP1586] – Matt Bradford and Sam McGeown always create great demos for their sessions. This is a must see for those on the Tanzu and modern application path and want to see how the vRealize suite is making Day 0-2 a cinch.

A Guide to the Cloud Operating Model [MCL1115] – Clouds are becoming the new silos. SaaS can grow your environment exponentially at a rapid pace and before you know it, you’re in the same siloed chaos you were in before cloud. Taruna and Martijn walk you through VMware’s multi-cloud approach when creating a consistent cloud operating model. It’s great to leverage multiple clouds based on specific use cases but it’s important to know how to best manage them.

Design Principles: Cloud Architecture Design and Operations [MCL2151] – Without a doubt these two Principal Architects are some of the smartest people I know at VMware. Mitesh and Andrea have been designing Enterprise VMWonAWS deployment since the service has been available. If you want to know how best to design VMWonAWS for production, this session is #1!

Automate VMware HCX Workload Migration to VMware Cloud on AWS [MCL1050] – This session would be #2 to the one above. Now that you have the VMWonAWS SDDC deployed, it’s time to migrate! Phoebe and Asaf bring their VCDX (between them, they have four!) and HCX knowledge to show you how to automate your migrations.

Cloud Workload Security and Protection on VMware Cloud [SEC1296] – While you’ve migrated workloads to VMWonAWS, you still need to secure them. Being in the cloud does not remove you from needing to protect the asset. Using the security features of NSX on VMWonAWS is a great start. To be even more secure, this panel will show how you can leverage Carbon Black on VMWonAWS.

A Guide to Application Migration Nirvana [MCL1264] – Bottom line….application migrations can be HARD! vRealize Network Insight has quickly become one of the main tools used to help customers understand applications and how to effectively plan for migrations to VMware’s Cloud. Martijn Smit has a wealth of experience to share do be sure to add this to the schedule!!

VMware DRaaS – Combine Two Services for Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plans [MCL1202] – This session should be awesome! It’s not just about Site Recovery Manager (SRM) anymore. If you haven’t taken a look at VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR aka Datrium) yet, you should. This session will cover both solutions and how we’re allowing customers to recover from ransomeware attacks, outages, and more. It’s all about flexibility and this session will give you the information you need to make those critical business continuity and disaster recovery decisions.

I admit that most of these sessions are cloud and application based but that’s where my passion lies and that’s where my customers are headed! Don’t forget to register today and Enjoy VMworld 2021!!!!

SDDC to SDDC HCX Migrations (C2C Migrations) Demo

VMware has had some disruptive innovations over the past twenty years such as vMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and Instant Clones to name a few. More recently, VMware released one of their innovation crowned jewels in Hybrid Cloud Extension aka HCX. HCX is an application mobility platform designed for simplifying application migration, workload rebalancing and business continuity across datacenters and clouds. I have been using VMware Cloud on AWS for quite some time and one of my biggest frustrations was not being able to seamlessly move workloads from one Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) to another. In August of 2019, HCX released the preview for “SDDC to SDDC mobility”. I mention VMware Cloud on AWS because HCX is included with the VMWonAWS subscription and should be deployed and leveraged! For example, many VMWonAWS customers are using HCX for Cloud to Cloud (C2C) migrations as well as migrations from on-prem to cloud. HCX has many use cases as pictured below.

Last month, I demonstrated how to:

  • Deploy HCX in two SDDCs in two Availability Zones
  • Create a Site Pair
  • Create a Service Mesh
  • Deploy HCX IX, WAN Optimization and Network Extension
  • Configure Layer 2 Network Extension
  • Live vMotion (continuous ping across Network Extension to target SDDC)
  • Bulk vMotion
  • Protect VMs via HCX
  • Troubleshoot Service Mesh deployments including redeploy of appliances

For more info regarding HCX you can go to the product page here and refer to my previous post. Enjoy!!!!

Dive in!!!!! Learning all about VMware Cloud on AWS and HCX

Lately, I’ve been asked by peers and customers alike “How can I learn more about VMware Cloud on AWS?!” Many of us are finding ourselves in front of screens much more than normal these days so what better way to fill in some time gaps than by learning more about VMware Cloud on AWS and HCX?! While search engines are helpful, I hope my “definitive list” helps!!! If you need more, feel free to reach out!!! Happy Learning!!!

VMware Cloud on AWS

YouTube

VMware Cloud on AWS Customer Success YouTube Channel

VMware Cloud YouTube Channel

VMware Cloud on AWS Blogs

Nico Vibert – https://nicovibert.com/

Gilles Chekroun – http://www.gilles.cloud/

Ryan Kelly – http://www.vmtocloud.com/

William Lam – https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/

Tom Twyman – https://occasional-it.com/

Dustin Spinhirne – https://dspinhirne.github.io/vmcbook/

VMware Cloud Blog – https://cloud.vmware.com/community/blog/

Community Sites

VMware Cloud on AWS Blog Community – https://cloud.vmware.com/community/vmware-cloud-on-aws/

VMTN Forum –https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vmc-on-aws/overview

VMware Cloud on AWS VMUG- https://community.vmug.com/communities/community-home169?CommunityKey=df5b4c52-4f7b-48dc-b5ad-ea0be799e128

Documentation

VMware Cloud on AWS Sizer and Workload Profiles – https://vmc.vmware.com/sizer/workload-profiles

VMware Cloud on AWS Documentation – https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-on-AWS/index.html

Configuration Maximums – https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-on-AWS/services/com.vmware.vmc-aws-operations/GUID-10A0804B-04F4-4B8A-9EBA-85169F533223.html

Getting Started – https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-on-AWS/services/vmc-on-aws-getting-started.pdf

Operations Guide – https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-on-AWS/services/vmc-aws-operations.pdf

Feature Walkthrough – https://featurewalkthrough.vmware.com/t/vmware-cloud-on-aws/

Hands on Labs

HOL-2052-01-ISM – VMware Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS – https://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/6542

HOL-2087-01-HBD – VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started – https://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/6593

HOL-2087-91-HBD – VMware Cloud on AWS – Lightning Lab- https://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/6053

Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX)

Blogs

Gabe Rosas – https://hcx.design/ THIS IS A ONE STOP SHOP FOR HCX!!!!!

Emad Younis – https://emadyounis.com/

Communities

https://cloud.vmware.com/community/vmware-hcx/

Documentation

HCX Overview – https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-HCX/services/user-guide/GUID-A7E39202-11FA-476A-A795-AB70BA821BD3.html

Hands on Labs

HOL-2081-01-HBD – VMware HCX – Getting Started with Cross-Cloud Mobility- https://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/6352