HCX+ Site Manager Deployment

Obtain the Connector and Cloud OVA files (and complete initial HCX+ onboarding)

HCX+ provides central management of multiple local HCX+ Site Managers (HSMs). These HSMs are the equivalent of traditional HCX manager appliances. You can obtain the OVA files needed to deploy the HSMs during the very initial steps for onboarding a site in HCX+.

When you first accept an invitation to HCX+, you will be taken to VMware’s Cloud Services Platform (CSP) where you will be prompted to choose an existing organization to use with HCX+, or to create a new one.

For my example, I’m choosing to use HCX+ in the existing EPSG org.

After you click the Continue button, you should see a page similar to the following (your services will very likely differ).

Click the Launch Service link on the HCX+ tile.

To get the HSM Connector and Cloud OVA files, you can either go to the Launchpad area on the left or click the Onboard Site button (I clicked on the Onboard Site button).

You can see that there are two links at the top of the page for downloading the Connector and Cloud OVA files. Go ahead and click these links and copy the downloaded OVA files to a system with access to the vCenter Servers where they will be deployed.

Deploy the Connector and Cloud OVA files

The OVA deployment is fairly straightforward if you’ve ever deployed an OVA file before. The only things you really need to plan out in advance are the location in your vCenter Server where the VMs will be deployed, naming and IP address information.

The Connector VM is being deployed to my vCenter Server that will serve as the source for VM migrations.

If everything looks good, click the Finish button to continue.

You’ll quickly see the VM deploying.

When the deployment is finished, you can power on the Connector VM.

You can also proceed with deploying the Cloud VM at your destination site.

Complete Initial HSM Configuration

Access the Connector VM’s admin URL (https://hcx-connector-01a.corp.vmw:9443/ for my example).

Note: It may be up to 10 minutes before you can access the HCX Manager admin URL.

Login with the admin user credentials configured during OVA deployment.

Click the Log In button.

You can click the Activate Later button here as licensing is handled from the HCX+ end. Until the site is onboarded to HCX+, you will see a banner like the following in the HSM admin UI.

And like the following in the standard HSM UI.

Choose a location.

Click the Continue button.

Enter a System Name. This is just used as an identifier and does not need to match the VM name/FQDN.

Click the Continue button.

At this point,  you could continue going through the wizard where it will prompt you for vCenter Server, NSX Manager, and SSO information but I chose to move on to replacing the default certificate first and clicked the Finish Later button. You could click the Yes, Continue button, complete the basic configuration and then restart services when prompted and move on to this next step. I’ll get to those other configurations here after the certificate is replaced.

Navigate to the Administration MenuCertificate > Trusted CA Certificate.

Click the Import button.

Via File, URL or Content, choose the root CA that signs the certificate to be used by components that the HSM will interact with.

Click the Apply button.

While on the Administration tab, navigate to Certificate Server Certificate.

Paste the contents of the certificate and private key that the HSM will use.

Click the Apply button.

Navigate to Configuration vCenter Server.

Click the large Plus button and enter vCenter Server information as appropriate.

Click the Save button.

While on the Configuration page, navigate to NSX Manager.

For a Connector site, this is an optional step but since the VMs I would want to migrate at my Connector site are on NSX-backed segments, I’m completing this step.

Click the large Plus button and enter NSX Manager information as appropriate.

Click the Save button.

While on the Configuration page, navigate to SSO.

Enter the vCenter Server URL.

Click the Save button.

Navigate to Dashboard and you will see these three configurations as well as other information about the HSM.

Navigate to AdministrationTroubleshooting Backup & Restore and click the FTP server setting tab.

Click the Add button and enter information appropriate to the backup location.

Click the Save button.

There is likely little need to take a backup just yet but this will speed up the process when things are much more configured.

Click on the Appliance Summary tab.

Stop and then Start the Web Service and Application Service services in the HCX Services section.

Open a new browser tab and go to the FQDN/IP of the Connector VM (https://hcx-connector-01a.corp.vmw/ in my example). You can enter vSphere SSO credentials to log in.

Note that there is an HCX+ section at the bottom of the menus on the left.

When you are ready to onboard this site, you will enter information configured/generated at HCX+ here.

The HCX extension should have been deployed to vCenter Server and  you should have an HCX menu present there.

If you poke around the HCX UI, you will see that nearly every configuration option is greyed out.

This is because this installation is tailored for use with HCX+ and will have to be configured there.

You can complete the previous steps to configure the Cloud deployment as well.

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