NSX network virtualization delivers the operational model of a VM to the network infrastructure. NSX software-defined networking injects improved security into the entire data center infrastructure. With NSX, network functions including switching, routing and firewalling are embedded in the hypervisor and distributed across the environment. This effectively creates a “network hypervisor” that acts as a platform for virtual networks and services as shown in Figure 38 below.
Figure 38. NSX software-defined networking
NSX virtual networks leverage automated, policy-based provisioning and multi-tenant isolation to simplify network management, even for complex multi-tier network topologies. NSX reproduces the entire network model in software, enabling any network topology to be created and provisioned in seconds. Users can create multiple virtual networks with diverse requirements, leveraging a combination of the services offered via NSX, to build more agile and secure environments.
VMware offers two flavors of NSX: NSX-V and NSX-T. NSX-V, is the version that is tied to VMware vSphere ecosystem and is dependent on vCenter and was VMware’s first SDN offering. On the other hand, NSX-T is VMware’s next generation software-defined networking solution, which is “unlocked” from vSphere and vCenter. It additionally supports cloud-native applications, bare metal workloads, multiple hypervisors, public clouds and multi-cloud environments. Both NSX-V and NSX-T reproduce the complete set of networking services (e.g. switching, routing, firewalling, QoS) all in a network virtualization layer which is an abstraction between the physical and virtual networks.
To learn more about NSX architecture in the context of VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, please consult VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail Architecture Guide.