More info on VMware HCX

By | November 1, 2017

After looking into the blog post announcements on VMware HCX after VMworld I decided to get a bit more info what HCX actually is. This blog post will try to summarize what it is and what it can do. HCX is not a single product, but a combination of multiple VMware products which will be available is a single solution.
HCX is a also a cloud product which is delivered together with HCX Providers such as IBM or OVH.

So what can HCX Provide? It is essentially works as an extension between your existing infrastructure and a HCX Provider or a bridge. This allows for instance use of

  • Disaster Recovery 
  • Hybrid Cloud 
  • Migration to newer platforms

On the HCX provider side we have a VMware Cloud Foundation setup. Cloud Foundation is based off of  VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and SDDC Manager, where the last part automates and orchestrates the entire deployment process on the providers end. Using NSX on the providers end opens up for a new way to do software-defined network where all traffic is wrapped into VXLAN traffic. On the client’s or customers end we only need to deploy a single virtual machine (which is the HCX Client) this runs on your existing VMware infrastructure. The HCX client will be backwards compatible with as old versions ESX 5.1, and allow for management from the existing VMware console.

HCX will also come with WAN optimization and will allow us to connect our existing DC over regular internet or we can use a direct connection with the cloud provider. Regardless all traffic will be encrypted using AES 256 bits encryption.

So HCX will provide secure Live vMotion – HCX proxies vMotion, resulting in a secure, zero downtime live migration to the cloud, over the HCX interconnect fabric described above.  It will also provide built-in business continuity – HCX provides DRaaS to enable business continuity while migrating/moving applications, and will allow customers can define as low as 5-minute RPO/RTO for VMs.

So some question that I am left with (Which I’m guessing will be answered when it will be released.)

1: How will the HCX Client provide redudancy on the customer side? can we setup multiple HCX clients which can load balance across the traffic?
2: How can we handle disaster recovery when it comes to layer two network failure?
3: How does it integrate with older versions of VMware where we don’t have web based console?
4: Since it doesn’t require us to have NSX on the customer side, and we pay for the license as part of the cloud offering what kind of functionality will we get?

When will it be available?
November – 2017 ( Later this month ) so looking forward to testing this on IBM Bluemix especially. IBM is also consolidating both of their platforms (Bluemix and Softlayer) into a single platform from a management perspective as well. So it should be available from the different IBM Softlayer locations pretty soon –> http://www.softlayer.com/data-centers%20

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