NSX story started in 2012 when VMware acquired Nicira. Soon, in 2013, VMware released first version of NSX. Since then, VMware has been working hard on NSX to get them a lead in Software Defined Networking. We have already discussed Software Defined Networking in a separate section which shows its importance today.
VMware NSX is the network virtualization and security platform for the software-defined data center. NSX virtualizes the existing network and transforms network operations and economics.
NSX enhances capabilities of hypervisor to include network functions including switching, routing, and firewalling. This effectively creates an “NSX switch” that acts as a platform for virtual networks and services. With NSX, we create an abstraction of networking equipment into software based virtual machines. Soon we will discuss architecture and components of
an NSX system which will help us understand how it works in a better way. For the time being, it is recommended to understand the features we can get out of virtualizing existing network using NSX.
Except for the benefits which we get by virtualizing networking and security equipment into software based virtual machines such as scaling up, better manageability, easy backup / restore, less overhead of operations and centralized management. NSX offers a rich set of features which are listed below:
- Logical Switching
- Logical Routing
- Logical Firewall
- Logical Load Balancer
- Logical VPN
- NSX API
- Partner Ecosystem
Reasons for Deploying NSX:
3) Distributed functionalities
4) Decoupling management, control and data planes
5) Firewalling based on server names or group of servers, instead of IPs
6) API friendly
Note: All these features and benefits will be discussed during the course of these topics wherever they are found relevant to discuss. I have listed them here at the beginning to give you a glimpse of how we are getting benefitted in multiple dimensions which shall motivate one to move further.