Workload migration with VMware Cloud on AWS

Consider your connectivity options – VMware Cloud on AWS allows customers to connect to both the management network and the compute network via IPSEC VPN or L2VPN; online or through AWS Direct Connect. The management and compute networks are both segmented for greater security. If you wish to have on-premises workloads communicate with workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS, your networking team will need to allow a VPN connection between the two networks. You can set this up with your network and security teams before signing up to VMware Cloud on AWS.


Determine your migration process – There are a number of ways to move workloads into VMware Cloud on AWS and it’s important to determine which option or combination of options is best for you: 

  • Start fresh – With simple “cattle” workloads (e.g. web servers) it may be easier to use the Content Library and start the workload afresh within VMware Cloud on AWS.
  • Cold migration – If you have HLM configured, you can simply shut down the workload and move it to VMware Cloud on AWS. This is another great option for
    “cattle” workloads.
  • Live migration – Live vMotion can be used for more business-critical workloads that you don’t want to start and stop. This can be done if HLM is configured and a L2VPN is established.
  • Batch/bulk migration – VMware has enabled new migration capabilities with Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX). HCX enables large-scale datacenter migrations to be executed live, warm or cold. Migrations and connectivity are optimized to leverage datacenter-to-VMware Cloud on AWS WAN links. Bulk migration can be executed immediately or in a scheduled fashion. This allows mass VM migration into the cloud with incremental in-line transformations performed in flight  (VM hardware version upgrades, VMware tools updates etc.)
  • Migration across different vSphere versions – HCX provides loosely coupled interconnects across vSphere versions without merging administrative and fault domains. This allows you to migrate VMs across various vSphere versions – 5.x+ to the latest SDDC instances running in VMware Cloud on AWS.


vSphere vMotion enables live migration of running (powered on) VMs from your on-premises host to a host in VMware Cloud on AWS with zero downtime for the application (<1sec switchover time), continuous service availability, and complete transaction integrity. This feature is now available for VMware Cloud on AWS.


  • It requires AWS Direct Connect (over Private VIF) and NSX Layer 2 VPN to be set-up. It is not supported without either of these. vMotion traffic goes over AWS Direct Connect.
  • On-premises vSphere version must be on 6.0u3 or above
  • Sustained bandwidth of 250 Mbps or more (for optimal performance).


Few things to node about Workload migration :

  • Encrypted vMotion would simply work out-of-box. No new set-up action required, as long as the on-premises environment has the feature supported.
  • You can vMotion from VMware Cloud on AWS back to on-premises as long as the on-premises hosts are compatible. Enhanced vMotion Compatability (EVC) mode does not work across clusters and there is a possibility that while in VMware Cloud on AWS, the VM goes through a power cycle and begins running on a new hardware version in VMware Cloud on AWS. In such scenarios, the host on-premises might be on an older version and live migration will not be supported.
  • EVC is disabled in VMware Cloud on AWS. All hosts in VMware Cloud on AWS are homogeneous and hence a compatibility check is not required.

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