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Understanding Data Center Networks with VMWare NSX

Understanding Data Center Networks with VMWare NSX
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VMware NSX is a complex network and security product designed by vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) and Network Virtualization Platform (NVP). NSX typically embeds networking and security components that are managed in hardware.

NSX delivers an absolute set of networking elements and services inclusive of switching, routing, firewalling, load balancing, VPN, QoS, ports, monitoring and other elements allow virtual networking among hypervisors, cloud management systems and related network hardware. It also assists in outward networking and security services. 

What is VMware NSX?

VMware NSX is the complex networking and security commodity that is developed by VMware after acquiring Nicira in 2012. This acquisition, projected VMware into whole new software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) world.

NSX has launched to product editions: NSX for vSphere and NSX for Multi-Hypervisor. NSX for vSphere is perfect for VMware environments, and NSX for MH is specially built to coalesce into open standard cloud environments viz. OpenStack.

What Makes up VMware NSX?

 

The NSX is a fundamental network virtualization tool built into vSphere. Virtual NICs and VMs are connected on a single host, to make communication easier between each other.

When VM is ready to talk to another VM, or with the Internet, its network traffic must negotiate the physical network through an uplink on the host. Thereafter, the traffic can just wander along a physical switch and later to ESXi host and virtual machine or else it can take multiple number of network hops throughout the world to communicate with a virtualized VM that runs as a web server.

The location where the network traffic reaches finally is defined by the hardware – such as physical switches, routers, and firewalls. Ultimately, VMware intends to change the network control from “hardware defined” to “software defined” with the NSX.

The NSX is a fundamental network virtualization tool built into vSphere. Virtual NICs and VMs are connected on a single host, to make communication easier between each other.

When VM is ready to talk to another VM, or with the Internet, its network traffic must negotiate the physical network through an uplink on the host. Thereafter, the traffic can just wander along a physical switch and later to ESXi host and virtual machine or else it can take multiple number of network hops throughout the world to communicate with a virtualized VM that runs as a web server.

The location where the network traffic reaches finally is defined by the hardware – such as physical switches, routers, and firewalls. Ultimately, VMware intends to change the network control from “hardware defined” to “software defined” with the NSX.

Purpose of VMware NSX

 

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VMware NSX leads virtualization towards existing networks and transforms their operations and economics. By using it, administrators can create, delete, restore, complex networks, all in software, programmatically. VMware NSX enables data center operators to obtain superior speed and flexibility in terms of magnitude.

NSX permits IT to serve the physical network as a pool of transport capacity, which can be repurposed on demand.

What NSX Does?

 

Moves Networking to Software

The NSX is extending its hands to help hundreds of customers perceive full capability of Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). It is moving networking to IT software, thus resulting in eventual flexibility.

Brings down time consumed for Network Provisioning

While provisioning a network, NSX cuts down the time from weeks to seconds. It dissociates virtual networks from the physical network, thus enhancing flexibility of network hardware. With improved efficiency, network operators attain quicker deployment and substantial agility.

Moves Workloads Seamlessly

NSX relocates virtual machines, its corresponding networks and security policies among distinct data centers in just few minutes. It withhelds, if there is any interference to the running application, thus validating active-active data centers and disaster recovery options.

Deals with Micro-segmentation

NSX conducts security in the data center by using automated policies. It utilizes micro-segmentation to considerably diminish the risks in the data center. By making micro-segmentation feasible, NSX fetches superior security model to the data center.

 

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VMware ensures NSX does the following for the network:

  • Decouples the network from hardware.
  • Make the network transparent and elastic, allowing to create, delete, grow, and shrink applications as needed.
  • Allows programmatic monitoring.
  • Ensures virtualized network is extensible so as to add third-party solutions as needed.

 

How does VMware NSX Work?

Below is a look at the NSX architecture:

NSX performs encapsulation of traffic, which otherwise would be sent to physical switches and routers inside the protocol. By achieving this, the physical network hardware is made compatible and has nothing to do with network virtualization that’s been undergoing.

NSX connects a virtual network to a physical network, but each hypervisor runs an individual NSX virtual switch and controllers which in turn serve as the management plane, having all over control.

Below image shows how vSphere and vCAC/VCD looks like:

Using network virtualization platform, NSX can speed along networking tasks that are otherwise not conducive to speedy alterations.

Network deployments are conventionally complicated and stable. Provisioning configuration settings are assembled manually across distinct network devices. Once acclaimed, these configurations are hard to alter or upgrade. Most of the VM traffic is directed to traverse physical networks that are inefficiently organized and composed. The resultant is the poor performance of traffic from bottlenecks or security gaps.

VMware NSX is built to specifically address certain issues faced by IT professionals while managing speed and flexibility of finding in server virtualization. The popular use case lies in data center automation, enabling quick and adaptable network provisioning. In certain cases, the provisioning process may integrate with automation tools to solicit the autonomous provision. Likewise, the NSX is perfectly fit for transient and inconsistent workloads.

NSX provides innumerable features that recreate the capabilities of physical, strengthen their performance and bear legacy workload. Firewall services are adjoined with virtual networks and log activity for administering and troubleshooting. Service features quality ensures that traffic experiences priority handling in order to preserve performance. Load balancing boosts performance by rigorously pathing virtual networks. The network virtualization couples traditional workloads with non-virtualized LANs. The NSX also incorporates an API, for automation capabilities as it integrates it to cloud management platforms.

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Use Cases

 

Security

Security functions in NSX are embedded right into the hypervisor. It administers micro-segmentation and granular security to the distinct workload, essentially enabling more assured data center. Security policies always go hand in hand with the workloads, independent of their location in the network topology.

Application Continuity

NSX dissociates networking and security practices from the latent hardware and attaches it to their associated workloads. Anywhere in the network, these applications and data are accessible. Workloads can be moved from one data center to another or can be deployed into a hybrid cloud environment.

Automation

In NSX, network and security services are attached to workloads and are treated as a pool of transport capacity, using a policy-driven approach. This scenario automates networking operations and terminates bottlenecks related to hardware-based networks.

Conclusion

VMware NSX has embellished into a thing of pride for the vendor. With server virtualization, VMware has transformed the way organizations deliver computer services. Nevertheless, the refinement of network virtualization has evolved into constructive and essentially important for large size enterprises where rapidity, automation and extensible are prime attributes. On the contrary, Small and midsize businesses would avail little, but direct benefit from network virtualization.

Author Bio:

Sirisha Paladhi possesses love and passion towards writing, which brought her into this field. Presently, she is working as a Content Writer at Mindmajix. During her career, she has written many articles on technology innovations. In her pass time, she relishes in making handy-crafts.

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