VMware NSX unifies in a single platform Nicira NVP and VMware vCloud Network and Security, covering the entire network and security model from Layer 2 to Layer 7 and integrating in the hypervisor to ability to manage switching, bridging, routing and firewall.
The key highlights are resumed in this post from the “Office of the CTO”:
- Logical switching & routing: Routing functions have been integrated with switching in the hypervisor, enabling direct one-hop connectivity for east-west traffic in the data center, and decoupled from the underlying network fabric using overlays. Also included are optimizations to decouple multicast, unknown unicast and ARP broadcasts from the network. Net effect is efficient, fast packet delivery in the logical plane, and minimizing control traffic in the physical fabric.
- Bridging to physical: A logical view of virtual and physical devices is presented, leveraging integration between the NSX Controller and agents in Arista, Brocade, Cumulus, Dell, HP and Juniper network devices. Also included are translational bridging between logical overlays and VLANs to enable seamless interconnection of physical and virtual without re-addressing.
- Distributed Firewall: Stateful firewall capability is built into the hypervisor, delivering distributed, scale-out, high-performance firewall inspection at each virtual switch port, while tracking VM adds, moves and changes. Firewall management is dramatically simplified by enabling rules, audits and monitoring based on virtual infrastructure containers, applications, AD users/identity, and yet richer, using network virtualization and VM introspection. The distributed firewall capability also enables stateful, logical insertion of partner devices/agents e.g. F5, McAfee, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec and Trend.
- Logical Edge Services: The NSX Edge Services router provides the critical network services required to on-ramp/off-ramp traffic to/from the data center, including perimeter routing (BGP, OSPF, IS-IS), firewalls, user & site VPNs, elastic load balancers and DNS/DHCP/IP services. We also take advantage of virtualization to provide flexible placement, N+1 redundancy, runtime load balancing, and per-tenant resource management. These logical, scale-out services are programmatically deployed on a per-tenant or app basis, solving the choke point and provisioning issues commonly seen in current architectures.