HCX integrates with ESXi to perform vMotion migrations for powered on virtual machines, and with Cold Migration for powered off virtual machines.

HCX vMotion

VMware HCX vMotion can transfer a live Virtual Machine from a HCX activated vCenter Server to a HCX activated destination site (or from the destination site towards the local site). The vMotion transfer captures the virtual machine active memory, its execution state, its IP address, and its MAC address. The migration duration depends on the connectivity, including both the bandwidth available and the latency between the two sites.

HCX Cold Migration

Cold migration uses the same network path as HCX vMotion to transfer a powered-off virtual machine. During a cold migration, the Virtual Machine IP address and the MAC address are preserved. Cold migrations must satisfy the vMotion requirements.

Requirements and Limitations for HCX vMotion and Cold Migration

  • HCX Interconnect tunnels must be up/active.

  • HCX vMotion requires 100 Mbps or higher throughput capability.

  • The virtual machine hardware version must be at least version 9 or higher.

  • The underlying architecture, regardless of OS, must be x86.

  • VMs with Raw Disk Mapping in compatibility mode (RDM-V) can only be migrated using Bulk Migration.

  • VMware NFC is used as the primary protocol during Cold migration and as a secondary protocol during HCX vMotion.


    HCX Interconnect uses a Network Profile configuration dedicated to the vMotion traffic. This configuration does not include the Cold and vMotion NFC traffic. HCX always uses its Management interface for Cold and vMotion NFC traffic. In deployments where ESXi servers use a dedicated Provisioning vmkernel for NFC traffic, the HCX continues to route Cold and vMotion NFC traffic through the Management interface.

  • Migration to or from vVOL datastores is not supported.

  • The HCX Migration interface does not display port groups that are VLAN trunks.

For information regarding migration limits, search for VMware HCX in the VMware Configurations Maximums tool.

Virtual Machine Restrictions for HCX vMotion

Virtual machines with the following attributes are not supported for migration.

  • Virtual machines cannot be migrated while they are using a shared SCSI bus, flagged for multi-writer, enabled for fault tolerance, or configured for shared VMDK disk sharing.

  • Attached virtual media or ISOs.

  • Virtual Machine Hardware Version 8 or earlier.

  • Although concurrent VMware HCX vMotion migrations can be initiated up to the vSphere limits, VMware only supports serial HCX vMotion migrations between a source and the destination site. For simultaneous migrations in parallel, select Bulk Migration.

  • HCX vMotion defaults to Opportunistic mode for per-VM vMotion Encryption if it is set to Required. During the migration operation - the mode is changed to Opportunistic during the migration initialization, and then set back to Required after the migration is completed.

  • Virtual Machines with Change Block Tracking (CBT) can be migrated, but HCX deactivates CBT.

  • If either the source or the destination vCenter version is earlier than 6.0, VMware vCenter tags attached to a virtual machine are not retained during migration. Tags can be created manually for those virtual machines after migration.

  • VMware software appliances (including, but not limited to vCenter Server and NSX Manager) cannot be migrated with HCX vMotion migration.

  • vSphere VM Encryption is not supported with HCX migrations.

  • Virtual machine workloads with an attached serial port device are not supported. For these workloads, detach such devices prior to starting the migration.
    Note: You can use Bulk Migration to migrate workloads with an attached serial port device.
  • Virtual Based Security (VBS) functionality is not supported with VMware HCX migrations.