VCP-NV: Benefits of a VMware NSX Implementation

by admin

Welcome to the first post in what will be a series covering the VCP-NV exam objectives. This post will look at the Objective 1, starting with looking at the benefits a NSX implmentation offers.

VCP-NV 1.1 Describe the Benefits of a VMware NSX Implementation

The benefits of using VMware NSX are laid out in this whitepaper from VMware. I’ll go over some of the main points here.

VMware NSX is designed to help address a number of networking challenges. One of these challenges is that provisioning new, or changing existing, network infrastructure configuration can be a slow and complex process. For example, provisioning a new VLAN can involve changes on multiple devices such as switches, routers and firewalls. Network changes tend to reply on changes made manually across multiple devices via CLI or script and as such can be prone to error, especially in the case of complex changes.

Another issue is VLAN sprawl – with VLANs often being stretched across physical sites to meet the requirements for logically grouping devices together on the same subnet.

NSX is about addressing these challenges, and more, through network virtualisation. NSX delivers a software based solution that solves many of these datacenter networking challenges, basically, doing for the network what server virtualisation has done for compute and storage. With networking virtualisation a ‘network hypervisor’ handles layer 2 – 7 network services such as switching, routing and firewall, all in software. 

As stated in the NSX whitepaper, NSX:

  • Deploys on hypervisors connected to any existing physical network infrastructure and supports next-generation fabrics and topologies from any vendor
  • Requires no changes to existing applications and workloads
  • Allows IT departments to incrementally implement virtual networks at whatever pace they choose (without impact to existing applications and network configurations)
  • Extends visibility to existing network monitoring and management tools to deliver increased visibility into virtualized network

Further benefits include:

  • Able to select least cost networking equipment – NSX only requires basic IP forwarding and resiliency
  • Requires fewer physical switch ports and less overall switching capacity
  • Reduces, or eliminates, the need to purchase new network equipment in order to take advantage of the latest networking innovations
  • Has the ability to support development, test and production environments (even using the same IP ranges), on the same physical infrastructure.

As stated in the whitepaper, NSX works with:

  • Any application. Workloads/applications need not be modified in anyway as the virtual network appears no different to them than the physical network.
  • Any hypervisor. Out-of-the box support is available for many hypervisors (e.g., Xen, KVM, and VMware ESXi), while coverage can be extended to others (e.g., Microsoft Hyper-V) by re-configuring them to incorporate standard vSwitch capabilities.
  • Any network infrastructure. Hardware independence is achieved based on the fact that NSX virtual networks require nothing more than connectivity and packet-forwarding from the underlying IP infrastructure.
  • Any cloud management platform. Out-of-the-box support is available for many cloud management platforms (including CloudStack, OpenStack, VMware vCloud Automation Center,), and integration with other management platforms is provided through the NSX API.

Useful Links and Resources

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/nsx/VMware-NSX-Network-Virtualization-Platform-WP.pdf

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