Tech field day VMware NSX at Interop


        I was fortunate enough to go to Interop in Las Vegas on the behalf of tech field day.  So I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to go to Interop.  For me this was my first Interop I was able to take part in.  Which was really eye-opening and will for sure add many new fortes in regards to new trends in networking.

        I have been using the NSX product for the better half almost 3 years in a large environment.  Before NSX I also leveraged VMware VCNS the predecessor to NSX.  I have written numerous blog posts and scripts all related to NSX.  Alright enough about me and on to the VMware NSX presentations.

        Bruce Davie CTO of VMware networking and security business unit presented upon where VMware is currently on the state of VMware NSX.  VMware’s three largest and most compelling reasons for customers to view or run NSX in their environments comes down to three large reasons.
Agility – Having an open and central API that can talk to all components within the NSX stack for example NSX edge routers,distributed firewall etc.

Security – Allowing true micro segmentation of VM’s at the vnic level and the availability to virtualize security components as virtual machines.

Application Continuity – Allowing NSX related virtual machines to live within the private or public cloud.

Where NSX is today customer wise.
Screenshot from 2016-05-18 09:44:25
Where NSX was 8 months ago at VMworld.
Screenshot from 2016-05-18 09:43:50

        The numbers are quite impressive to double your customers and triple the amount of customers going into production with NSX based networks.  Looking at the different verticles it is quite impressive.  The list of customers shows different use cases between Health care providers, financial institutions , large enterprises and retailers.

       Talking about operations and visibility Bruce was quick to point criticism of lack of operations and visibility once a customer moves to an overlay network.  VMware took those criticisms very heavily and made it a priority to invest into visibility.  Bruce gives a demo which was from VMworld last year.  In the demo Bruce presents vrops which is VMware’s go to tool operationally for all of their products.  This particular demo had the network management pack.  The network management pack to monitor and alert on both the physical and virtual networks.  Traceflow  was also mentioned.  Traceflow will interject real data packets into a NSX virtual machine to another NSX virtual machine for troubleshooting issues to see if a particular service is blocked a long the path within the virtual network.

        VMware has integrated many third-party monitoring tools within their portfolio.  The two which Bruce gave mention Gigamon which allows for a virtual tap directly into the hypervisor or Gigamon can simply strip VXLAN headers to view raw data packets on the physical network and arkin which is a super slick UI that will give performance statistics on both the physical and virtual networks as well as vsphere information.

        NSX everywhere was quite possibly the most intriguing presentation of the day.  Bruce talked about the future of NSX taking what security policies are within the private cloud and move the same security policies to any hypervisor or baremetal machine given in AWS,Azure etc.  We also touched on the point of running NSX on VDI and airwatch VMware’s mobile VDI product.

        We talked about the possibilities of future hypervisors and platforms which NSX will integrate into. There are plans to integrate NSX in the future to Hyper-V.  As of today the NSX transformers is supported on bare metal linux, KVM and vsphere 6.x. NSX-V will continue to operate on vsphere 6.x.

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