Planning the Azure VMware Solution deployment

This article provides you the planning process to identify and collect data used during the deployment. As you plan your deployment, make sure to document the information you gather for easy reference during the deployment.

The processes of this quick start result in a production-ready environment for creating virtual machines (VMs) and migration.

Important

Before you create your Azure VMware Solution resource, follow the How to enable Azure VMware Solution resource article to submit a support ticket to have your hosts allocated. Once the support team receives your request, it takes up to five business days to confirm your request and allocate your hosts. If you have an existing Azure VMware Solution private cloud and want more hosts allocated, you'll go through the same process.

Subscription

Identify the subscription you plan to use to deploy Azure VMware Solution. You can either create a new subscription or reuse an existing one.

Note

The subscription must be associated with a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.

Resource group

Identify the resource group you want to use for your Azure VMware Solution. Generally, a resource group is created specifically for Azure VMware Solution, but you can use an existing resource group.

Region

Identify the region you want Azure VMware Solution deployed. For more information, see the Azure Products Available By Region Guide.

Resource name

Define the resource name you'll use during deployment. The resource name is a friendly and descriptive name in which you title your Azure VMware Solution private cloud.

Important

The name must not exceed 40 characters. If the name exceeds this limit, you won't be able to create public IP addresses for use with the private cloud.

Size hosts

Identify the size hosts that you want to use when deploying Azure VMware Solution. For a complete list, see the Azure VMware Solution private clouds and clusters documentation.

Number of hosts

Define the number of hosts that you want to deploy into the Azure VMware Solution private cloud. The minimum number of hosts is three, and the maximum is 16 per cluster. For more information, see the Azure VMware Solution private cloud and clusters documentation.

You can always extend the cluster later if you need to go beyond the initial deployment number.

vCenter admin password

Define the vCenter admin password. During the deployment, you'll create a vCenter admin password. The password is to the cloudadmin@vsphere.local admin account during the vCenter build. You'll use it to sign in to vCenter.

NSX-T admin password

Define the NSX-T admin password. During the deployment, you'll create an NSX-T admin password. The password is assigned to the admin user in the NSX account during the NSX build. You'll use it to log into NSX-T Manager.

IP address segment

The first step in planning the deployment is to plan out the IP segmentation. Azure VMware Solution ingests a /22 network that you provide. Then carves it up into smaller segments and then uses those IP segments for vCenter, VMware HCX, NSX-T, and vMotion.

Azure VMware Solution connects to your Microsoft Azure Virtual Network via an internal ExpressRoute circuit. In most cases, it connects to your data center via ExpressRoute Global Reach.

Azure VMware Solution, your existing Azure environment, and your on-premises environment all exchange routes (typically). That being the case, the /22 CIDR network address block you define in this step shouldn't overlap anything you already have on-premises or Azure.

Example: 10.0.0.0/22

For more information, see the Network planning checklist.

Identify - IP address segment

IP address segment for virtual machine workloads

Identify an IP segment to create your first network (NSX segment) in your private cloud. In other words, you want to create a network segment on Azure VMware Solution so you can deploy VMs onto Azure VMware Solution.

Even if you only plan on extending L2 networks, create a network segment that will validate the environment.

Remember, any IP segments created must be unique across your Azure and on-premises footprint.

Example: 10.0.4.0/24

Identify - IP address segment for virtual machine workloads

(Optional) Extend networks

You can extend network segments from on-premises to Azure VMware Solution, and if you do, identify those networks now.

Keep in mind that:

Azure Virtual Network to attach Azure VMware Solution

To access your Azure VMware Solution private cloud, the ExpressRoute circuit, which comes with Azure VMware Solution, must attach to an Azure Virtual Network. During deployment, you can define a new virtual network or choose an existing one.

The ExpressRoute circuit from Azure VMware Solution connects to an ExpressRoute gateway in the Azure Virtual Network that you define in this step.

Important

You can use an existing ExpressRoute Gateway to connect to Azure VMware Solution as long as it does not exceed the limit of four ExpressRoute circuits per virtual network. However, to access Azure VMware Solution from on-premises through ExpressRoute, you must have ExpressRoute Global Reach since the ExpressRoute gateway does not provide transitive routing between its connected circuits.

If you want to connect the ExpressRoute circuit from Azure VMware Solution to an existing ExpressRoute gateway, you can do it after deployment.

So, in summary, do you want to connect Azure VMware Solution to an existing Express Route Gateway?

  • Yes = Identify the virtual network that doesn't get used during deployment.
  • No = Identify an existing virtual network or create a new one during deployment.

Either way, document what you want to do in this step.

Note

This virtual network is seen by your on-premises environment and Azure VMware Solution, so make sure whatever IP segment you use in this virtual network and subnets do not overlap.

Identity - Azure Virtual Network to attach Azure VMware Solution

VMware HCX Network Segments

VMware HCX is a technology bundled in with Azure VMware Solution. The primary use cases for VMware HCX are workload migrations and disaster recovery. If you plan to do either, it's best to plan out the networking now. Otherwise, you can skip and continue to the next step.

Four networks are needed for VMware HCX:

  • Management network: Typically, it's the same management network used on the vSphere cluster. At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX. (You might need larger numbers, depending on your deployment.)

    Note

    The method we recommend is creating a /26 network. On a /26 network, you can use up to 10 service meshes and 60 network extenders (-1 per service mesh). You can stretch eight networks per network extender by using Azure VMware Solution private clouds.

  • vMotion network: Typically, it's the same network used for vMotion on the vSphere cluster. At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX. (You might need larger numbers, depending on your deployment.)

    The vMotion network must be exposed on a distributed virtual switch or vSwitch0. If it's not, modify the environment.

    Note

    This network can be private (not routed).

  • Uplink network: You want to create a new network for VMware HCX Uplink and extend it to your vSphere cluster via a port group. At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX. (You might need larger numbers, depending on your deployment.)

    Note

    The method we recommend is creating a /26 network. On a /26 network, you can use up to 10 service meshes and 60 network extenders (-1 per service mesh). You can stretch eight networks per network extender by using Azure VMware Solution private clouds.

  • Replication network: You want to create a new network for VMware HCX Replication and extend that network to your vSphere cluster via a port group. At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX. (You might need larger numbers, depending on your deployment.)

    Note

    This is optional. This configuration is only possible when the on-premises cluster hosts use a dedicated Replication VMkernel network. If your on-premises cluster does not have a dedicated Replication VMkernel network defined there is no need to create this network.

Next steps

Now that you've gathered and documented the needed information continue to the next section to create your Azure VMware Solution private cloud.