Migrate VMware SDDC to VMware Cloud on AWS using VMware HCX - AWS Prescriptive Guidance

Migrate VMware SDDC to VMware Cloud on AWS using VMware HCX

Created by Deepak Kumar (AWS)

Environment: PoC or pilot

Source: Networking

Target: VMware Cloud on AWS

R Type: Relocate

Technologies: Migration; Infrastructure


This pattern describes the use of VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) to migrate your on-premises virtual machines (VMs) and applications to VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The migration uses VMware enterprise-class software-defined data center (SDDC) software on the AWS Cloud to provide optimized access to AWS services. 

VMware Cloud on AWS integrates compute, storage, and network virtualization products (vSphere, vSAN, and VMware NSX) with VMware vCenter server management, which is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. The resulting infrastructure is low-maintenance, simplified, and hyper-converged.  

With this service, IT teams can manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools. For more information, see VMware Cloud on AWS on the VMware website.

VMware HCX supports three types of cloud migrations:

  • Hybridity (data center extension): Extending an existing, on-premises VMware SDDC to AWS to provide footprint expansion, on-demand capacity, a testing/development environment, and virtual desktops.

  • Cloud evacuation (data center-wide infrastructure refresh): Consolidating data centers and moving completely to the AWS Cloud (including handling data center co-location or end of lease).

  • Application-specific migration: Moving individual applications to the AWS Cloud to meet specific business needs. 

Prerequisites and limitations


  • Sign up for an AWS account (required for VMware Cloud SDDC creation).

  • Sign up for a My VMware account. Register at https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/ and fill out all fields.

  • Check the version of vCenter and hosts, and collect the number of VMs. If possible, ask for an RVTools export to display information about your virtual environments. We recommend vCenter version 6.0 or later. 

  • You must deploy distributed virtual switches if you want to extend data center networks (L2), test vMotion by using HCX, or analyze application dependency by using vRealize Network Insight.

  • Pick a non-conflicting on-premises current management subnet network to create the SDDC on VMware Cloud on AWS.

  • Validate HCX requirements by reviewing the prerequisites provided in the VMware HCX User Guide

  • Identify and group VMs for waves of migration. Check for VMs that you can use for testing.

  • Collect any data about relative bandwidth consumption, WAN compression, and data transfer speed.


  • No need for VMware NSX-V or NSX-T on premises.

  • No additional costs for HCX (it's included in VMware Cloud on AWS).


The following diagram shows the HCX solution built on multiple component services. Each component supports a specific function in the HCX solution. For more information about each HCX component, see the blog post Migrating Workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS with Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX).

HCX solution built on multiple component services

Source technology stack

  • On-premises VMs and applications managed by VMware vSphere

Target technology stack

  • VMware Cloud on AWS


  • VMware HCX – VMware HCX is a tool that you can use to migrate your applications and workloads across data centers and cloud environments. It is included with VMware Cloud on AWS.


TaskDescriptionSkills required

Choose a migration strategy.

Decide whether you want to extend your data center (hybridity), move all your data centers (cloud evacuation), or move specific applications to AWS.

SysAdmin, App owner

Validate HCX requirements.

For migration information, review the VMware HCX User Guide.

SysAdmin, App owner
TaskDescriptionSkills required

Migrate your VMs or applications.

For more information, see Hybrid Migration with VMware HCX in the VMware documentation.

SysAdmin, App owner

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