• Abhishek Shukla

Migrate NSX-V Data Center to NSX-T: An Introduction to Migration Coordinator

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Hello Readers,

Its been little while I spoke about NSX. I think my last article about NSX was about the comparision between the two i.e. NSX for vSphere (NSX-V) and NSX-T ( T stands for transformer). In this article I will talk about the migration from one to another. Yes! from NSX-v to NSX-T. This can be done using NSX-T Migration Coordinator

Before I talk about the tool, I would love to talk about WHY???

Why we need to migrate from NSX-V to NSX-T? and the answer is right there !

I am sure you must have heard alot about the term "cloud" everywhere these days. like public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud etc .

The way applications are being architectured and deployed, It is huge. Modern applications need more than what we have right now. They run on multiple clouds making use of different platforms i.e. containers, VMs, bare metals and what not. And with this rapid growth and application deployment, your underlying network should be agile enough to take care these robust applications on any compute. Applications are API driven, they need scalability, intrinsic distributed security and streamlined operations. NSX-T is designed to address such issues and brings a common platform to run such applications and gives public cloud experience to your privare cloud.


NSX-T migration coordinator is the tool by VMware which provides the privilegde to migrate NSX data center for vSphere to all new NSX-T Data center (for containered workloads) and that too without VMware's assistance. This tool is in-built into NSX-T manager and automates the migrations from NSX-V to NSX-T. Though there are other ways to migrate as well like Co-existing environments and Greenfield NSX-T deployment on new hardware but these techniques demand time but on the contarary the NSX-T migration coordinator comes in play with its automation and use of existing hardware.

Stages of Migration


There are few pre-requisites for the migration process. The migration task includes installation of new NSX-T at the destination and running the migration coordinator. Since NSX-V is migrating to NSX-T, the existing NSX-V needs to be changed in order to migrate. There are few steps to be followed to create a new NSX-T data center environment for migration

  • Deploy NSX-T UMA (Unified Manager Appliance) to create the NSX-T data center

  • Check if ESXi hosts are part of NSX environment, if not, Install NSX-T unified appliances on ESXi hosts that are not part of NSX-V that are being migrated.

  • If MM migration (Maintenance Mode Migration) is being used of the host, configure shared storage on desitination cluster if the VMs to be migrated between NSX-V and NSX-T data centers

  • Configure a compute manager in the NSX-T environment.

  • Add the vCenter as a compute resource (Use the exact IP or hostname specified in NSX for vCenter registration)

  • Deploy additional NSX Manager appliances to create a cluster.

  • Start the migration coordinator service using the CLI of the NSX-T manager.

  • Create an NSX-T IP pool to use for the NSX-T Edge TEPs (These IPs must be able to communicate with all existing NSX for vSphere VTEPs. These IPs also need to be in a separate vLAN from the NSX for vSphere Edge and Compute VTEPS.)

  • Deploy NSX Edge node VMs in vCenter using the OVF tool.

  • Deploy the correct number of appropriately sized NSX-T Edge appliances.

  • Join the Edge nodes to the management plan from the CLI.

Pre-Migration Config

During the Import Configuration step, all NSX Edge node interfaces in thed destination NSX-T Data Center environment are shut down. If the destination NSX-T Data Center environment is already configured and is in use, starting the configuration import will interrupt traffic.

  • Import configuration from NSX for vSphere.

  • Enter the details of your NSX for vSphere environment.

  • The configuration is retrieved and pre-checks are run.

  • Resolve issues with the configuration

Config Migration

In this step, you just copy desired state from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T

After all configuration issues are resolved, you can import the configuration to NSX-T Data Center. Configuration changes are made on NSX-T Data Center, but no changes are made to the NSX for vSphere environment yet.

Edge Migration

During the edge migration, routing and edge services are migrated from NSX for vSphere to NSX-T Data Center.

Host Migration

During the host migration, NSX for vSphere software is removed from the hosts, and NSX-T software is installed. Virtual machine interfaces are connected to the new NSX-T Data Center segments. There is a traffic interruption during the Migrate Hosts step.

Finish Migration:

After you have verified that the new NSX-T Data Center environment is working correctly, you can finish the migration, which clears the migration state.

Further, there are few topologies which are supported and unsupported features in topologies.

Lets start with the supported features of migration coordinator . If you import your NSX for vSphere configuration to migration tool , you will get the detailed list of feedback of what features and configuration in your environment are supported or not. E.g. NAT, Edge firewall, L2 and L3 VPN, Load Balancer, DHCP, DNS, Distributed Firewall, East-West Microsegmentation, Transport Zones, Overlay bridged logical switches, VLAN-backup switches etc and few features are not supported like Cross vCenter NSX, Endpoint Protection, Guest and Network introspection, L2 bridges etc . The entire list can be found on VMware's feature support for Migration coordinator page.

Supported Topologies

The migration tool can migrate NSX environment from NSX-v to NSX-t only when if it is configured in the supported topology. Point to be noted that in all topologies, few features are not supported i.e.

  • You must have BGP configured between ESGs (Egde Service Gateways) and Northbound routers. OSPF is unsupported

  • IPv6

  • IP Multicast is not supported as well

There are five such topologies which are supported by the tool. Lets discuss one by one

Topology 1: ESG with HA and L4-L7 services

Topology 2: ESG with no L4-L7 services

Topology 3: Two Levels of ESG with L4-L7 services on second level ESG

Topology 4: One armed Load Balancer

Topology 5: VLAN backed micro-segmentation

In my next articles, I will be covering the demo of all of the above topologies.

Thanks for reading. Be safe.


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