Plan the Azure VMware Solution deployment

Planning your Azure VMware Solution deployment is critical for a successful production-ready environment for creating virtual machines (VMs) and migration. During the planning process, you'll identify and gather what's needed for your deployment. As you plan, make sure to document the information you gather for easy reference during the deployment. A successful deployment results in a production-ready environment for creating virtual machines (VMs) and migration.

In this how-to article, you'll do the following tasks:

  • Identify the Azure subscription, resource group, region, and resource name
  • Identify the size hosts and determine the number of clusters and hosts
  • Request a host quota for eligible Azure plan
  • Identify the /22 CIDR IP segment for private cloud management
  • Identify a single network segment
  • Define the virtual network gateway
  • Define VMware HCX network segments

After you're finished, follow the recommended Next steps at the end of this article to continue with this getting started guide.

Identify the subscription

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

Note

The subscription must be associated with a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Azure plan or an Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA). For more information, see Eligibility criteria.

Identify the 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.

Identify the region or location

Identify the region you want Azure VMware Solution deployed.

Define the resource name

The resource name is a friendly and descriptive name in which you title your Azure VMware Solution private cloud, for example, MyPrivateCloud.

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.

Identify the size hosts

Identify the size hosts that you want to use when deploying Azure VMware Solution.

Azure VMware Solution clusters are based upon hyper-converged infrastructure. The following table shows the CPU, memory, disk and network specifications of the host.

Host Type CPU (GHz) RAM (GB) vSAN Cache Tier (TB, raw) vSAN Capacity Tier (TB, raw) Network Interface Cards Regional availability
AV36 Dual Intel Xeon Gold 6140 CPUs with 18 cores/CPU @ 2.3 GHz, Total 36 physical cores (72 logical cores with hyperthreading) 576 3.2 (NVMe) 15.20 (SSD) 4x 25 Gb/s NICs (2 for management & control plane, 2 for customer traffic) All product regions
AV36P Dual Intel Xeon Gold 6240 CPUs with 18 cores/CPU @ 2.6 GHz / 3.9 GHz Turbo, Total 36 physical cores (72 logical cores with hyperthreading) 768 1.5 (Intel Cache) 19.20 (NVMe) 4x 25 Gb/s NICs (2 for management & control plane, 2 for customer traffic) Selected regions (*)
AV52 Dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8270 CPUs with 26 cores/CPU @ 2.7 GHz / 4.0 GHz Turbo, Total 52 physical cores (104 logical cores with hyperthreading) 1,536 1.5 (Intel Cache) 38.40 (NVMe) 4x 25 Gb/s NICs (2 for management & control plane, 2 for customer traffic) Selected regions (*)

An Azure VMware Solution cluster requires a minimum number of three hosts. You can only use hosts of the same type in a single Azure VMware Solution private cloud. Hosts used to build or scale clusters come from an isolated pool of hosts. Those hosts have passed hardware tests and have had all data securely deleted before being added to a cluster.

(*) details available via the Azure pricing calculator.

Determine the number of clusters and hosts

The first Azure VMware Solution deployment you do consists of a private cloud containing a single cluster. You'll need to define the number of hosts you want to deploy to the first cluster for your deployment.

For each private cloud created, there's one vSAN cluster by default. You can add, delete, and scale clusters. The minimum number of hosts per cluster and the initial deployment is three.

You use vCenter Server and NSX-T Manager to manage most aspects of cluster configuration and operation. All local storage of each host in a cluster is under the control of vSAN.

The Azure VMware Solution management and control plane has the following resource requirements that need to be accounted for during solution sizing.

Area Description Provisioned vCPUs Provisioned vRAM (GB) Provisioned vDisk (GB) Typical CPU Usage (GHz) Typical vRAM Usage (GB) Typical Raw vSAN Datastore Usage (GB)
VMware vSphere vCenter Server 8 28 915 1.1 3.6 1,925
VMware vSphere vSphere Cluster Service VM 1 1 0.1 5 0.1 0.1 2
VMware vSphere vSphere Cluster Service VM 2 1 0.1 5 0.1 0.1 2
VMware vSphere vSphere Cluster Service VM 3 1 0.1 5 0.1 0.1 2
VMware vSphere ESXi node 1 N/A N/A N/A 9.4 0.4 N/A
VMware vSphere ESXi node 2 N/A N/A N/A 9.4 0.4 N/A
VMware vSphere ESXi node 3 N/A N/A N/A 9.4 0.4 N/A
VMware vSAN vSAN System Usage N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 6,574
VMware NSX-T Data Center NSX-T Unified Appliance Node 1 6 24 300 5.5 8.5 613
VMware NSX-T Data Center NSX-T Unified Appliance Node 2 6 24 300 5.5 8.5 613
VMware NSX-T Data Center NSX-T Unified Appliance Node 3 6 24 300 5.5 8.5 613
VMware NSX-T Data Center NSX-T Edge VM 1 8 32 200 1.3 0.6 409
VMware NSX-T Data Center NSX-T Edge VM 2 8 32 200 1.3 0.6 409
VMware HCX (Optional Add-On) HCX Manager 4 12 65 1 3.2 152
VMware Site Recovery Manager (Optional Add-On) SRM Appliance 4 12 33 1 1 93
VMware vSphere (Optional Add-On) vSphere Replication Manager Appliance 4 8 33 4.3 2.2 84
VMware vSphere (Optional Add-On) vSphere Replication Server Appliance 2 1 33 1 0.1 84
Total 59 vCPUs 197.3 GB 2,394 GB 56 GHz 38.3 GB 11,575 GB (9,646 GB with expected 1.2x Data Reduction ratio)

These resource requirements only apply to the first cluster deployed in an Azure VMware Solution private cloud. Subsequent clusters only need to account for the vSphere Cluster Service, ESXi resource requirements and vSAN System Usage in solution sizing.

The virtual appliance Typical Raw vSAN Datastore Usage values account for the space occupied by virtual machine files, including configuration and log files, snapshots, virtual disks and swap files.

The VMware ESXi nodes have compute usage values that account for the vSphere VMkernel hypervisor overhead, vSAN overhead and NSX-T distributed router, firewall and bridging overhead. These are estimates for a standard three cluster configuration. The storage requirements are listed as not applicable (N/A) since a boot volume separate from the vSAN Datastore is used.

The VMware vSAN System Usage storage overhead accounts for vSAN performance management objects, vSAN file system overhead, vSAN checksum overhead and vSAN deduplication and compression overhead. To view this consumption, select the Monitor, vSAN Capacity object for the vSphere Cluster in the vSphere Client.

The VMware HCX and VMware Site Recovery Manager resource requirements are optional Add-Ons to the Azure VMware Solution service. Discount these requirements in the solution sizing if they are not being used.

The VMware Site Recovery Manager Add-On has the option of configuring multiple VMware vSphere Replication Server Appliances. The table above assumes one vSphere Replication Server appliance is used.

Sizing an Azure VMware Solution is an estimate; the sizing calculations from the design phase should be validated during the testing phase of a project to ensure the Azure VMware Solution has been sized correctly for the application workload.

Tip

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

Note

To learn about the limits for the number of hosts per cluster, the number of clusters per private cloud, and the number of hosts per private cloud, check Azure subscription and service limits, quotas, and constraints.

Request a host quota

It's crucial to request a host quota early, so after you've finished the planning process, you're ready to deploy your Azure VMware Solution private cloud. Before requesting a host quota, make sure you've identified the Azure subscription, resource group, and region. Also, make sure you've identified the size hosts and determine the number of clusters and hosts you'll need.

After the support team receives your request for a host quota, it takes up to five business days to confirm your request and allocate your hosts.

Define the IP address segment for private cloud management

Azure VMware Solution requires a /22 CIDR network, for example, 10.0.0.0/22. This address space is carved into smaller network segments (subnets) and used for Azure VMware Solution management segments, including: vCenter Server, VMware HCX, NSX-T Data Center, and vMotion functionality. The diagram highlights Azure VMware Solution management IP address segments.

Diagram showing Azure VMware Solution management IP address segments.

Important

The /22 CIDR network address block shouldn't overlap with any existing network segment you already have on-premises or in Azure. For details of how the /22 CIDR network is broken down per private cloud, see Routing and subnet considerations.

Define the IP address segment for VM workloads

Like with any VMware vSphere environment, the VMs must connect to a network segment. As the production deployment of Azure VMware Solution expands, there's often a combination of L2 extended segments from on-premises and local NSX-T network segments.

For the initial deployment, identify a single network segment (IP network), for example, 10.0.4.0/24. This network segment is used primarily for testing purposes during the initial deployment. The address block shouldn't overlap with any network segments on-premises or within Azure and shouldn't be within the /22 network segment already defined.

Identify - IP address segment for virtual machine workloads.

Define the virtual network gateway

Azure VMware Solution requires an Azure Virtual Network and an ExpressRoute circuit. Define whether you want to use an existing OR new ExpressRoute virtual network gateway. If you decide to use a new virtual network gateway, you'll create it after creating your private cloud. It's acceptable to use an existing ExpressRoute virtual network gateway. For planning purposes, make a note of which ExpressRoute virtual network gateway you'll use.

Diagram that shows the Azure Virtual Network attached to Azure VMware Solution.

Important

You can connect to a virtual network gateway in an Azure Virtual WAN, but it is out of scope for this quick start.

Define VMware HCX network segments

VMware HCX is an application mobility platform that simplifies application migration, workload rebalancing, and business continuity across data centers and clouds. You can migrate your VMware vSphere workloads to Azure VMware Solution and other connected sites through various migration types.

VMware HCX Connector deploys a subset of virtual appliances (automated) that require multiple IP segments. When you create your network profiles, you use the IP segments. Identify the following listed items for the VMware HCX deployment, which supports a pilot or small product use case. Depending on the needs of your migration, modify as necessary.

  • Management network: When deploying VMware HCX on-premises, you'll need to identify a management network for VMware HCX. Typically, it's the same management network used by your on-premises VMware vSphere cluster. At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX. You might need larger numbers, depending on the scale of your deployment beyond the pilot or small use case.

    Note

    Preparing for large environments, instead of using the management network used for the on-premises VMware vSphere cluster, create a new /26 network and present that network as a port group to your on-premises VMware vSphere cluster. You can then create 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.

  • Uplink network: When deploying VMware HCX on-premises, you'll need to identify an Uplink network for VMware HCX. Use the same network you plan to use for the Management network.

  • vMotion network: When deploying VMware HCX on-premises, you'll need to identify a vMotion network for VMware HCX. Typically, it's the same network used for vMotion by your on-premises VMware vSphere cluster. At a minimum, identify two IPs on this network segment for VMware HCX. You might need larger numbers, depending on the scale of your deployment beyond the pilot or small use case.

    You must expose the vMotion network on a distributed virtual switch or vSwitch0. If it's not, modify the environment to accommodate.

    Note

    Many VMware vSphere environments use non-routed network segments for vMotion, which poses no problems.

  • Replication network: When deploying VMware HCX on-premises, you'll need to define a replication network. Use the same network you're using for your Management and Uplink networks. If the on-premises cluster hosts use a dedicated Replication VMkernel network, reserve two IP addresses in this network segment and use the Replication VMkernel network for the replication network.

Determine whether to extend your networks

Optionally, you can extend network segments from on-premises to Azure VMware Solution. If you do extend network segments, identify those networks now following these guidelines:

Important

These networks are extended as a final step of the configuration, not during deployment.

Next steps

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