The end-to-end migration approach of the migration coordinator adopts the "migrate everything" approach. This approach might not suit the migration requirements of all organizations.

In the Lift and Shift migration approach, you deploy a new NSX-T Data Center infrastructure in parallel with your existing NSX Data Center for vSphere infrastructure. Some components, such as Management Cluster or Edge Cluster, or both can be shared. However, the Compute clusters that run the workloads need a separate hardware ( ESXi servers). This approach provides you flexibility to plan the migration based on individual tenant and workload requirements and migrate one piece at a time.

Let us assume that your organization is planning to undergo a server hardware refresh. During this refresh cycle, you plan to switch over to the modern NSX-T Data Center platform. Your organization plans to adopt a partial or a modular migration approach, and at the same time retain the flexibility to configure a new network topology in the NSX-T Data Center environment.

In this case, you can start fresh by deploying a new NSX-T Data Center environment on a separate hardware with the same topology, or define a new topology of your choice. The existing NSX-v environment is running in parallel while the new NSX-T environment is being deployed and configured.

Over time, you can gradually migrate specific parts of the NSX-v logical configuration, or if needed, create some configurations manually in the destination NSX-T environment. When your organization is ready to switch to the new NSX-T environment, you can use Layer 2 bridging to extend networks logically between both environments and move the workloads to NSX-T. For instance, you might want to bridge one network at a time, and gradually move the workloads from NSX-v to NSX-T. After all the workloads are moved to the new NSX-T environment, you can remove the bridge, and finally decommission your old hardware.

By using a partial migration approach, your organization can plan the migration to NSX-T one piece at a time over multiple, smaller, and manageable timeframes.

Example: Partial Migration

Let us say that your organization wants to migrate only the NSX-v Distributed Firewall configuration to protect the flow of east-west traffic in the newly deployed NSX-T Data Center. To achieve this goal, use the following high-level migration workflow:
  1. Deploy the new NSX-T Data Center environment on a separate hardware.

    Compute clusters for NSX-v and NSX-T Data Center environments must be different because both cannot coexist on the same hosts. Management and Edge Clusters might be shared with both environments.

  2. Create the NSX-T network topology and configure the necessary network services.
  3. Configure an NSX-T Edge bridge to extend the Logical Switch in NSX-v to an overlay segment in NSX-T.
  4. Use the migration coordinator to migrate the Distributed Firewall configuration.
  5. Switch the default gateway to the NSX-T Data Center environment.
  6. Use NSX-T Edge bridge and vSphere vMotion to migrate workload VMs to the overlay segment in NSX-T.
  7. Migrate the Security Tags to the workload VMs in NSX-T.
Important: When you use the lift and shift approach to migrate the DFW configuration from NSX-v to NSX-T, you must run the DFW-only migration mode of the migration coordinator only once. After the DFW configuration is migrated to NSX-T, you must not update the DFW configuration in your NSX-v environment and run the DFW-only migration mode again. Running the DFW-only migration mode multiple times is not recommended.