HCX Changes – version 4.3 > 4.6

VMware HCX is a powerful solution that enables organizations to simplify application migration, workload mobility, and hybrid cloud connectivity. With the release of the latest version, there are several new features and enhancements that provide even more flexibility and control over workload migration and hybrid cloud deployments.

I wanted to share some of the key features that have been introduced in the last few releases, including support for vSphere 8.0, enhanced network optimization, improved security, and many more. Hopefully these features can benefit your organization and enable you to accelerate your cloud migration journey, reduce downtime, and increase agility.

Main Features added in version 4.4

  • General availability for Network Extension High Availability is the biggest feature in this release IMO. Running several network extensions for an extended period of time on a single VM (or several ones if you have more than 8 network extensions, however, still a single point of failure) is certainly scary. I have personally ran into situations where the vSphere host crashes and the network extension VM reboots immediately on another host, however, that still causes several seconds/minutes of downtime for the VMs that have reside on those extended networks.
  • The underlying distribution for HCX was replaced by Photon OS which improves platform security, package management, and orchestration through the implementation of VMware Photon Operating System on the HCX Manager and Service Mesh appliances.
  • For replication operations to any datastore, there is now an alignment validation check on the source disk partitions (must be a multiple of 8KB). With this release, HCX checks the source disk size prior to initiating a migration which can prevent errors during your cutover windows.
  • This version also brings a new section dedicated for Transport Analytics. This type of statistics allow you to understand the transport network performance therefore you can better plan your migration wave sizes by leveraging this data.

Main Features added in version 4.5

  • HCX adds supports for VMware vSphere 8.0 which includes VMs with HW version 20, vSAN 8 underlying storage and distributed switches leveraging version 8 as well.
  • Checkpoint support is now available for Replication Assisted vMotion migrations so you are not forced to start from scratch if there is an issue during the cutover window. This feature was previously offered only on Bulk Migrations.

Main Features added in version 4.6

  • Cluster to cluster migration within the same vCenter is now available. No need to have separate vCenters in order to migrate VMs leveraging HCX anymore. Simpler deployment with the same Bulk migration features.
  • Failed migrations during the cutover window? It happens from time to time, however, there is now a retry migration button to simplify the process required to try to attempt the VM migration again.

What do you expect to be released on version 4.7? Would love to hear what everyone else would like to see added in the future!