Migrating from NSX Data Center for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center

For many customers, the migration from NSX-v to NSX-T is top of mind because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • VMware has announced the End of General Support (EoGS) on January 16, 2022, and End of Technical Guidance (EoTG) on January 16, 2023, for NSX for vSphere 6.4, so moving forward, NSX-T is the direction the NSX platform is heading. 
  • NSX-V only supports Virtual Machine based workloads. NSX-T provides full stack networking and security for both traditional and modern cloud-native applications with multi-compute (e.g., virtual machine, container, bare metal), multi-hypervisor (e.g., VMware vSphere®, KVM) and multi-cloud (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) support.
  • NSX Federation provides centralized management and policy consistency allowing customers to deploy and enforce networking and security policies across large scale NSX deployments. 
  • For modern applications NSX-T provides a rich set of pod networking capabilities including distributed switching, routing, and load balancing.
  • NSX Distributed IDS/IPS brings granular IDS capabilities that can be deployed close to the workload.
  • Networking and security automation – NSX-T provides a robust API-driven interface that helps to simplify network automation.

Migration Approaches

There are two main methods to migrate from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center: Parallel Migration and In-Place Migration. 

In-Place Migration

An In-Place migration reconfigures the existing NSX Data Center for the vSphere environment for NSX-T Data Center. New host hardware is not required, and workloads can remain running on the existing ESXi hosts while Migration occurs. The migration coordinator is the built-in tool provided to perform the In-Place migrations. From NSX-T version 3.1, In-Place migrations are called end-to-end migrations. The migration coordinator is a built-in feature of the NSX-T Data Center, and this feature is used to perform the In-Place migrations. The tool provides an automated and supported method to migrate your NSX environment.

Lift and Swift

With the Lift and Shift migration, a new NSX-T Data Center environment is deployed in parallel with the existing NSX Data Center for the vSphere environment. Therefore, new host hardware is required. Workloads are migrated from NSX Data Center for vSphere to the new NSX-T Data Center environment.

Required Software and Version Supported for Migration

  • NSX-v versions 6.4.4, 6.4.5, 6.4.6, 6.4.8 and later are supported.
  • See the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices for required versions of vCenter Server and ESXi.
  • NSX-T must support the version of ESXi used in your NSX-v environment.
  • vSphere Distributed Switch versions 6.5.0, 6.6.0, and 7.0 are supported.
  • The NSX-v environment must match the NSX-T system requirements for ESXi, vCenter Server, and vSphere Distributed Switch.
  • If you want to migrate the user roles from NSX-v, you must deploy and configure VMware Identity Manager™. See the VMware Interoperability Matrices for compatible versions. See the VMware Identity Manager documentation for more information.
  • NSX for vSphere and the vSphere must be in stable green state
  • NSX-T Manager Appliance has a compute-manager connecting to vSphere with the source NSX-V instance.
  • Migration Coordinator on the NSX-T Manager appliance must be enabled via ssh using the command “start service migration-coordinator”.


Understanding the NSX Data Center for vSphere Migration


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