VMware Cloud on AWS supports several ways to migrate your workload VMs from your on-premises hosts to the ones in your SDDC and back again, as well as across hosts in your SDDC. The method you choose should be based on your tolerance for workload VM downtime, the number of VMs you need to move, and your on-premises networking configuration.

In VMware Cloud on AWS, when we want to perform the VMs workload migration tasks from our On-Premise datacenter to the Cloud, VMware calls this method as “Hybrid Migration“, there are total three different kinds of “Hybrid Migration” approaches for users to achieve this goal.

Apparently the most easiest way (less environment requirements) for user to migrate their VMs workload to the cloud SDDC (or back from cloud) is “cold” migration, which moves powered-off VMs from one host or datastore to another. Cold migration is a good option when you can tolerate some VM downtime (varies depend upon different network bandwidth, latency, network utilization, etc) during the migration process.

In this blog, we’ll examine how to use HLM and HCX to perform cold migration, you can choose one or the other method for this purpose.

Hybrid Migration

According to the official VMware Cloud on AWS documentation, VMware supports the following hybrid migration methods:

  1. Hybrid Migration with VMware HCX
  2. Hybrid Migration with vMotion
  3. Hybrid Cold Migration


How to perform Hybrid Cold Migration tasks

Supported Configurations for Hybrid Cold Migration

We can choose to leverage with HLM or HCX to perform Cold Migration tasks.


Hybrid Link Mode

Now let’s check how to use HLM to migrate the VM.

Environment Checklist

First you need to make sure you have met all the prerequisites described here.

  • On-premises vSphere version:

vSphere 6.5 patch d and later, vSphere 6.0 update 3 and later


  • On-premises virtual switch configuration:

Standard switches, vSphere Distributed Switch 6.0, or vSphere Distributed Switch 6.5


  • IPsec VPN (alternative is to use AWS Direct Connect)

Configure an IPsec VPN for the management gateway.

“Infrastructure Subnet” is my cloud SDDC management network, make sure you have setup the VPN tunnel.


Double check the networking overview status from your VMC console.


  • Hybrid Linked Mode

You need to have configured the HLM, then you can login to the Cloud SDDC vCenter, you’ll see your on-premise vCenter Server and Cloud SDDC vCenter Server showing up in the single panel console.


  • VMware Cloud on AWS and on-premises firewall rules

Ensure that the following firewall rule are configured in the VMC Console.


also make sure your local firewall permits the following rules:


  • On-premises DNS configuration

make sure you can correctly resolve the address for the cloud vCenter Server.


Perform Cold Migration

right-click the VM which you want to migrate, and select “Migrate…”.


Since this is hybrid migration, we select “Change both compute resource and storage” for the migration type.


Select which resource pool you want the migrated VM to be placed to.


Specify “WorkloadDatastore” as the target storage repository.


Select folder.


Select networks. (you’ll see a warning for vMotion, we are doing cold migration here, so can ignore this)


review the settings and click “FINISH” button.


You’ll see the “Relocate Virtual Machine” task showing up in the Recent Tasks window and the migration process.


After the task has been completed, you’ll see the VM has been successfully migrated to the cloud.



Second method for this cold migration is to use HCX, we assume you have already successfully configured your HCX solution.

In your local vCenter Server, open HCX console, select “Migration” –> “Migration Virtual Machines” to bring up your local VMs inventory.


Select VM and specify related cloud SDDC mapping resources and click “FINISH”.


check the status in the “Progress” column.




In cloud SDDC VC, you can see the VM has been migrated.


I hope you enjoy this blog reading, see you next blog!