HCX+ Site Pairing

Now that multiple Sites are configured, a Site Pair can be created to link them to each other.

Navigate to Infrastructure Site Pairs.

Click the Create a Site Pair button.

Choose appropriate sites to add to the pair and provide meaningful name for the Mobility Mesh (the name shown here is the default, which was fine for me). I chose the Sofia and Cork sites for this example.

Additionally, chose networks to be used for Network Extensions and whether you would like the Network Extension (NE) appliances configured for High Availability.

Click the View Resource Usage Summary link to see what VMs will be configured and how much of your compute and storage resources will be consumed by them.

Click the View Connection Rules link to see the IP addresses to be used for various components at each site, as well as port-level connectivity requirements between them.

You might have noticed that there was not a lot to configured for this Site Pair. This is because the deeper configuration options are only accessible in Advanced Mode. If you click the Advanced Mode toggle at the top of the page, you’ll see many more configuration options open up.

First off, you don’t have to enable all migration services if you don’t want them. You can make changes to the Mobility Services section and then click the Next button.

Note that in the Network Extension Service section there is now an option to configure multiple Network Extension scopes. Click Next here when you’re ready to proceed.

Disabling the first two options under Intelligent Transport Technologies & Traffic Engineering is typically not recommended but if you are not dealing with traffic crossing a WAN, disabling Activate WAN Optimization is acceptable. In my lab, since there is no WAN traffic and the VMs created for backing this functionality are very large, I’m disabling it.

Click the Next button.

Compare this with the previous Resource Usage Summary information (below as well) and you will see that the WAN Optimization VMs are not being created, freeing up 8 vCPUs, 14GB of RAM and 100GB of disk space at each site.

If you’re no ready to proceed just yet, you can click the Save Progress and Exit link at the top of the page.

After a very short while, the page will change slightly to something similar to the following.

When you’re ready to move on, you can either click the Edit link to make changes, or the Deploy link to complete the Site Pair configuration. From the Actions menu, you can delete the Site Pair. Since this Site Pair is ready to go, I’m clicking the Deploy link.

You’ll immediately get a message about the certificate in use at the Cloud side (Cork). This is the certificate that was used for the Cork HSM.

Click the Create button.

It will take several minutes (maybe up to an hour) for the configuration to complete.

If you check the HSM configuration at this point, you’ll see that the Site Pair has been pushed, along with the needed Compute and Network Profiles.

Unlike traditional HCX, where configuring the Site Pair and Service Mesh are two separate tasks, in HCX+, these are combined into a single task during the Site Pair operation.

At this point, you should be able to see VMs being deployed in the vSphere Client at each site.

Note the new VMs that start with hcxaas (HCX as a Service, or HCX+) and end in IX (interconnect) and NE (network extension).

The previous screenshots were from the Connector site (Sofia) but you will see similar activity on the Cloud site (Cork).

In the HCX+ UI, while drilled down into the new Site Pair, you can click on the Activity Logs tab to see more details about which tasks have completed and which are still in progress.

You can expand individual sections to see even more detail.

This is a great place to monitor the overall progress of the Site Pair operation.

Eventually, you should see all tasks move to a completed state.

The Summary tab for the Site Pair should look similar to the following:

You can go to the different tabs while drilled down into the Site Pair details to see more information or make changes.

On the Mesh Configuration tab, you can see which migration services are enabled and change them if needed. You can also make changes to the Network Extension configuration.

On the Site Components tab, you can drill down into each Site that is part of the Site Pair to see information on the individual components deployed at each site.

On the Data-Plane Diagnostics tab, you can run a quick set of tests to make sure that there are no issues with communication between the sites.

Click the Run Diagnostics button.

After a short time, the page should be updated to look like the following:

Click the View Report link to see details.

You can click through each of the test types on the left to see even more information.

The Transport Analytics tab provides test to measure network performance.

Click the Run Tests button.

Click the Run Tests button.

As this is a nested lab, it’s not unexpected to see failures related to available bandwidth. In a production environment, these tests should all pass.

When the test is done, you should see a page similar to the following.

Navigate to Infrastructure Topologies.

At this point, I had deleted the Palo Alto and Denver sites so we only see the Sofia and Cork sites. The green line between them indicates a healthy Site Pair.

Navigate to Administration Site Maintenance.

Here you can see high-level information about each site and if any updates are available.

Back in the HSM UI, you should see everything successfully configured.

The HCX+ VMs should be powered on.

In the HCX+ UI, navigate to Infrastructure Sites IP Pools and you will see how many IP addresses have been used from the pools configured during Site Configuration.

Navigate to Alerts

This is a read-only view of HSM alerts. If you need to manage these alerts, you would do so from the appropriate HSM UI.

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