How do I Integrate VMware Cloud on Dell EMC into an Existing Data Center? (Part 3)

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC IconThis blog is the third post in a three-part series leading up to VMworld 2020. The series has dealt with challenges and solutions for technology integration and workload migration. The first post set the stage with a customer scenario. In this scenario the customer faced a business challenge that led them to select VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. They did this to create a unified and consistent infrastructure and operational model. The second post highlighted the need for a cloud service so the customer could spend less time managing day-two operations and more time integrating two companies. This final post explores how the customer will complete the last and most delicate part of their project: workload migration.

Workload Migration is Challenging

Challenges customers face when preparing for migrations

  • Not all workloads are candidates for public clouds.
  • Migrating to new systems takes money, time, and effort.
  • Sometimes it’s easier just to reinstall than to re-platform workloads.
  • Changing IP and DNS entries for applications can be disruptive.
  • Hypervisor updates are often required to move to new platforms.

The Cloud is a Good Home for Workloads

A cloud model provides flexible pricing, on-demand infrastructure, and a variety of services that enhance business value. However, the problem for this customer is that their applications are not well suited for a move to a public cloud provider. They need data, applications, and users to be in close proximity to the telemetry produced by their manufacturing processes. This means they need workloads to run on-premises at their manufacturing sites. Also, they do not have time to re-platform or lift-and-shift their applications to a non-vSphere-based cloud. They need a solution they can deploy on-premises, and on vSphere, as quickly as possible.

Find a Partner for Today’s Needs and Tomorrow’s Plans

Over time the customer plans to modernize their business by replacing monolithic applications with a microservices architecture. In addition to this, they will eventually move some applications to one or more public cloud providers. VMware is an excellent strategic partner for these plans because of our Tanzu modern applications portfolio and multi-cloud solutions. However, at this moment the customer needs speed and agility. This requires the least amount of disruption to their current workloads. For example, the customer will never meet the project timeline if they have to re-IP and change DNS entries for every application across both companies. Implementing these changes would mean an expensive professional services engagement. It could also introduce too much risk to the project. Also, while they want to take advantage of new features in vSphere 7 update 1, they are currently running every version of vSphere from 5.5 to 6.7. Upgrading their entire infrastructure to vSphere 7.0 U1 by traditional methods would be time consuming and disruptive.

HCX is a Workload Mobility Platform

Fortunately, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC now includes VMware HCX in the subscription. VMware HCX is more than just a workload migration tool. It is a workload mobility platform built for the Hybrid Cloud. It specifically addresses common workload mobility challenges. These challenges include compatibility, interoperability, networking and security, application dependencies, and business downtime.

VMware HCX is a workload mobility platform
Image based on HCX Enterprise edition

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC Includes HCX Advanced

Customers can apply HCX Advanced to the following use cases:

  • Adopt a cloud operating model by migrating to a private cloud.
  • Consolidate and simplify infrastructure and operations by moving to VMware Cloud on Dell EMC.
  • Re-platform workloads to vSphere 7.x.
VMware HCX Advanced edition
HCX Advanced is included in the VMware Cloud on Dell EMC subscription

HCX and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

The VMware Cloud on Dell EMC service makes configuring and using HCX Advanced easy for customers. I will summarize the simple steps customers take to begin migrating workloads.

Activate HCX in the Cloud Portal

HCX Advanced is included in the subscription

VMware Cloud Portal

Pair an existing data center with VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Use HCX to pair an existing data center to VMC on Dell EMC
VMware HCX console

Extend the network to both sites

Extend network across sites for HCX migrations
VMware HCX console

Set up a migration plan in HCX

Set up sophisticated migration plans in HCX
It is important to perform an application rationalization exercise to gain an understanding of the dependencies between applications before migrating.

Click “GO”

Click "GO" to initiate a migration plan. If you make a mistake you can reverse the process.
Showing an HCX migration in progress. How long this takes is determined by VM size, network bandwidth, and the speed at which network packets travel based on distance and the refractive index of the material they are traversing (ex. copper or fiber optic).

Confirm the migration was successful

Once an HCX migration is complete you have the option to reverse the process.
Showing a completed migration in the vCenter client. If something goes wrong you can reverse the migration.


The customer harnessed the power of HCX Advanced to streamline their workload migration process. The result is they now have one consistent cloud architecture running on modern hyper converged infrastructure and the newest versions of vSphere, vSAN, and NSX-T. Also, the IT team has instantiated a cloud operating model that they can run remotely without having to travel to manage day-2 operations or deal with break/fix issues. They consolidated and standardized on three critical workloads at each manufacturing site with minimal business disruption. And finally, the customer has just one vendor to call for support and capacity expansion. This represents a dramatic simplification of infrastructure and operations.

The customer has successfully completed their business integration project on time, under budget, and with minimal downtime. A unified, and triumphant IT team can now safely celebrate their achievements.

A successful business integration project leveraging VMware Cloud on Dell EMC and HCX Advanced
The customer has successfully completed their business integration project!

Next Steps

Dive deeper into how HCX works and how this can benefit you:

Check out VMworld 2020 Session HCI1321.

Lean more about what’s new in VMware Cloud on Dell EMC:

Check out VMworld 2020 Session HCP 1834.

Try HCX for yourself:

Check out the Hands-on Lab.