What is HCX Multi-Site Services Mesh

Recently I upgraded HCX appliances in my lab and saw a new tab named “Multi Site Services Mesh” appearing in both cloud side and enterprise side UI and was curious to know about this new feature.

What is HCX Multi Site Services Mesh?

As we know that in order to start consuming HCX, we need to have the interconnect appliances (CGW, L2C and WAN Opt) deployed in both on-prem and cloud side. Before starting the deployment of appliances, we should have the Interconnect configuration already in place in cloud side.

The Multi-Site Service Mesh enables the configuration, deployment, and serviceability of Interconnect virtual appliance pairs with ease. Now you have the choice to deploy/manage HCX services with the traditional Interconnect interface or with the new Multi-Site Service Mesh. To deploy the HCX IX’s you will choose either of the method. 

Before you plan to use HCX Multi-Site Service Mesh, let’s have a look at few benefits which we get out of this feature: 

  • Uniformity: the same configuration patterns at the source and remote sites.
  • Re-usability: Once a compute profile is created it can be used to connect to multiple HCX sites. Hence the site administrator need not define the same things again and again.
  • Multisite Ready: Compute Profiles and Network Profiles can be shared across multiple sites.
  • Ease of reconfiguration: New capability to pool datastores or modify them post-Interconnect deployment.
  • Scale-out deployment: The HCX-IX can be deployed per cluster or a single HCX-IX can be shared across multiple clusters.

Apart from that the are few usability enhancements that have been introduced:

  • Improved interfaces display a clear deployment diagrams.
  • New task tracking features give step by step details of the progress of operations
  • Preview of required firewall rules for ease of configuration. (My favorite) 

How Multi-Site Mesh feature works?

To use this feature we need to create compute profile in both on-prem and cloud side. Compute profile includes information like:

  • Services that need to be enabled: HCX IX, Bulk Migration, DR, L2C etc.
  • Service Cluster (Cluster/Datastore/Resource pool): Placeholder for interconnect appliances deployment.
  • Network Profiles: This include creating a pool for Management Network, vMotion Network and Uplink network to which deployed appliances will be connecting. 

Typically a compute profile looks like as shown in below image

Once the compute profile is created in both cloud side and on-prem, we initiate the service mesh creation from on-prem side. Service mesh can’t be created from cloud side.

During service mesh creation we map the compute/network profile of on-prem with the profiles created in cloud side. Once service mesh mapping is done, we can initiate the deployment of IX appliances. 

Once the appliances are deployed in both on-prem and cloud side, we can start consuming the HCX services. 

In next post of I will walk through steps of creating HCX service mesh. Stay tuned!!!

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