Aug 24

VMware NSX Is Becoming Critical to Multi-Cloud Strategies

In this second of a three-part video series, VMware’s general manager and executive vice president for the networking and security business unit, Rajiv Ramaswami, discusses VMwareⓇ NSX™ customer adoptions and how NSX can help businesses build out their clouds. View the first video on NSX use cases here.

Global enterprises are adopting VMware NSX at an impressive rate. In the past quarter alone, VMware added more than 200 new customers. Essential to this momentum is the growing realization that NSX provides a key foundation for businesses looking to extend their operations to the cloud. “One of the largest banks in the world is using NSX to build out very large private clouds, and they’re with us on a journey to extend NSX into the public cloud,” says Rajiv Ramaswami, VMware’s general manager and executive vice president for networking and security.

Customers Paving the Way With NSX

Companies of every size and every vertical are committing to making NSX a foundational part of their IT futures. Examples of the sheer range of NSX customers include Armor, Fulton County School District, Heartland Payment Systems, IBM Global Technology Services, Novamedia, SugarCreek, and the University of New Mexico.

Ramaswami highlights a media company that came to VMware for help with building out its private cloud, consolidating a number of recent acquisitions and bringing them in-house. Ramaswami notes that this VMware customer, like many, uses NSX not just for security, but also for automation and disaster recovery. This is the trifecta of key use cases Ramaswami recently explained.

Making the Journey Together

Helping customers realize these kinds of notable IT achievements with NSX is only the beginning. With NSX, customers are realizing how much more they can accomplish across their businesses and the broader communities they serve.

Watch the video to learn more from Rajiv Ramaswami about how customers are using NSX.

VMware’s GM and EVP Rajiv Ramaswami explains how VMware NSX is becoming critical to multi-cloud strategies. Enterprises of all sizes are achieving success by leveraging NSX to build out their cloud deployments. With NSX, customers are realizing how much more they can accomplish across their businesses and the broader communities they serve.

Rating: 5/5

Aug 18

vRealize Network Insight Overview

See how VMware vRealize Network Insight delivers intelligent operations for software-defined networking and security to help IT maximize their NSX investments.

Rating: 5/5

Aug 15

VMware NSX is the Networking Bridge to a Multi-Cloud Future

Across industries, the race is on to digital transformation. It’s all about business innovation and redefinition. The transformations are huge: Tesla isn’t just a car manufacturer; it’s a software business that makes cars. CITI is a software business that makes loans. GE is a software business that makes industrial equipment.

Register for this VMworld 2016 session to learn about the future of VMware NSX.

Like most of the customers we talk with, your business is also going through a transformation. Lots of change. Lots of disruption. Lots of innovation. More apps, representing more services and new business models. More lines of business empowered to make decisions about the IT they’ll use to take their innovations to market. And there’s no doubt that a huge enabler of all of this has been the cloud.

Consider what some of the leading industry pundits are predicting:

  • By 2019, the majority of virtual machines (VMs) will be delivered by IaaS providers.
  • By 2019, more than 30% of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only.
  • By 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today
  • By 2020, 50% of applications running in public cloud environments will be considered mission-critical by the organizations using them (Gartner)

Through all of this, networking is undergoing fundamental change. It’s evolving to support both traditional and 3rd Platform architectures. It’s expanding and becoming more agile and flexible to support tomorrow’s application infrastructures spanning different hypervisors and containers, and living partly on-premises and partly across multiple public clouds.

At the heart of all of this change is VMware NSX. When you consider that just three years ago, VMware NSX did not even exist as a product, it is amazing to see the sheer number of production customers across every market segment and every region across the world.

At VMworld 2016, in Session NET9989-S, join VMware Chief Technology Strategy Officer Guido Appenzeller for a preview into what lies ahead for VMware NSX and network virtualization.

Rating: 5/5

Jul 29

NSX-V Multi-site Options and Cross-VC NSX Design Guide

Created by Humair Ahmed on Jul 22, 2016 1:36 PM. Last modified by Humair Ahmed on Jul 25, 2016 2:19 PM.
This design guide is in initial draft status and feedback is welcome for next updated version release.
Please send feedback to

The goal of this design guide is to outline several NSX solutions available for multi-site data center connectivity before digging deeper into the details of the Cross-VC NSX multi-site solution. Learn how Cross-VC NSX enables logical networking and security across multiple vCenter domains/sites and how it provides enhanced solutions for specific use cases. No longer is logical networking and security constrained to a single vCenter domain. Cross-VC NSX use cases, architecture, functionality, deployment models, design, and failure/recovery scenarios are discussed in detail.

This document is targeted toward virtualization and network architects interested in deploying VMware® NSX Network virtualization solution in a vSphere environment.

The design guide addresses the following topics:

  • Why Multi-site?
  • Traditional Multi-site Challenges
  • Why VMware NSX for Multi-site Data Center Solutions
  • NSX Multi-site Solution

Cross-VC NSX:

  • Use Cases
  • Architecture and Functionality
  • Deployment Models
  • Design Guidance
  • Failure/Recovery scenarios

Cross VC NSX Overview

VMware NSX provides network virtualization technology that decouples the networking services from the underlying physical infrastructure. By replicating traditional networking hardware constructs and moving the network intelligence to software, logical networks can be created efficiently over any basic IP network transport. The software based approach to networking provides the same benefits to the network as server virtualization provided for compute.
Pre-NSX 6.2, although NSX provides the flexibility, agility, efficiency and other benefits of network virtualization, the logical networking and security was constrained to the boundaries of one vCenter domain.

Figure 16 below shows NSX logical networking and security deployed within a single site and across a single vCenter domain.
VMware NSX Deployment site, single vCenter Server

Although it was possible to use NSX with one vCenter domain and stretch logical networking security across sites, the benefits of network virtualization with NSX was still limited to one vCenter domain. Figure 17 below shows multiple vCenter domains which happen to also be at different sites all requiring separate NSX controllers and having isolated logical networking and security.

Thanks to all the contributors and reviewers of this document.

This will also soon be posted on our NSX Technical Resources website (link below):

Feedback and Comments to the Authors and the NSX Solution Team are highly appreciated.
– The VMware NSX Solution Team


Download Multi-site Options and Cross-VC NSX Design Guide.pdf (15.5 MB).

Rating: 5/5

Jul 06

NSX Series 03 – Microsegmentation across DCs

This is the third of a series of 5 demos that show how the NSX Security Model works through several use cases. Don’t just believe what you see, try it yourself for free with VMware Hands-On-Labs (see below):

Rating: 5/5

Jun 29

OpenStack and VMware NSX

In this video, we discuss the way in which Neutron, the networking project of OpenStack, and VMware NSX interact. We cover the basic Neutron workflows and their situation as it relates to the application, as well as the corresponding NSX element that is leveraged each time. With this, we aim to describe how NSX ultimately brings stability to Neutron

Rating: 5/5

Jun 21

NSX Series 02 – Microsegmentation in a single DC

This is the second of a series of 5 demos that show how the NSX Security Model works through several use cases. Don’t just believe what you see, try it yourself for free with VMware Hands-On-Labs (see below):

Rating: 5/5

Jun 21

NSX Series 01 – DFW Overview

This is the first of a series of 5 demos that show how the NSX Security Model works through several use cases. Don’t just believe what you see, try it yourself for free with VMware Hands-On-Labs (see below):

Rating: 5/5

Jun 13

NSX Distributed Firewalling Policy Rules Configuration Guide

Created by nikhilvmw on Sep 23, 2014 5:16 PM. Last modified by nikhilvmw on Nov 6, 2014 2:19 PM.
VMware NSX for vSphere, release 6.0.x.

This document covers how one can create security policy rules in VMware NSX. This will cover the different options of configuring security rules either through the Distributed Firewall or via the Service Composer User Interface. It will cover all the unique options NSX offers to create dynamic policies based on the infrastructure context.

Thanks to Francis Guillier, Kausum Kumar and Srini Nimmagadda for helping author this document.
NSX Team


VMware NSX Distributed Firewall (DFW) provides the capability to enforce firewalling functionality directly at the Virtual Machines (VM) vNIC layer. It is a core component of the micro-segmentation security model where east-west traffic can now be inspected at near line rate processing, preventing any lateral move type of attack.

This technical brief gives details about DFW policy rule configuration with NSX. Both DFW security policy objects and DFW consumption model will be discussed in this document.

We assume reader has already some knowledge on DFW and Service Composer functions. Please refer to the appropriate collateral if you need more information on these NSX components.

Distributed Firewall Object Grouping Model

NSX provides the capability to micro-segment your SDDC to provide an effective security posture. To implement micro-segmentation in your SDDC, NSX provides you various ways of grouping VMs and applying security policies to them. This document specifies in detail different ways groupings can be done and details on when you should use one over the other.
Security policy rules can be written in various ways as shown below:

Network Based Policies:

    This is the traditional approach of grouping based on L2 or L3 elements. Grouping can be based on MAC addresses or IP addresses or a combination of both. NSX supports this approach of grouping objects. The security team needs to aware of networking infrastructure to deploy network-based policies. There is a high probability of security rule sprawl as grouping based on dynamic attributes is not used. This method of grouping works great if you are migrating existing rules from a different vendor’s firewall.

Network Based Policies

When not to use this: In dynamic environments, e.g. Self-Service IT; Cloud automated deployments, where you are adding/deleting of VMs and application topologies at a rapid rate, MAC addressed based grouping approach may not be suitable as there will be delay between provisioning a VM and adding the MAC addresses to the group. If you have an environment with high mobility like vMotion and HA, L3/IP based grouping approaches may not be adequate either.

Infrastructure Based Policies:

    In this approach, grouping is based on SDDC infrastructure like vCenter clusters, logical switches, distributed port groups, etc. An example of this would be, clusters 1 to cluster 4
    are earmarked for PCI kind of applications. In such a case, grouping can be done based on cluster names and rules can be enforced based on these groups. Another example would be, if you know which logical switches in your environment are connected to which applications. E.g. App Tier Logical switch contains all VMs pertaining to application ‘X’. The security team needs to work closely with the vCenter administration team to understand logical and physical boundaries.

    When not to use this: If there are no physical or logical boundaries in your SDDC environment then this type of approach is not suitable. Also, you need to be very careful where you can deploy your applications. For example, if you would like to deploy a PCI workload to any cluster that has adequate compute resources available; the security posture cannot be tied to a cluster but should move with the application.

Application Based Policies:

    In this approach, grouping is based on the application type (e.g: VMs tagged as “Web_Servers”), application environment (e.g: all resources tagged as “Production_Zone”) and application security posture. The advantage of this approach is that the security posture of the application is not tied down to either network constructs or SDDC infrastructure. Security policies can move with the application irrespective of network or infrastructure boundaries. Policies can be templated and reusable across instances of same types of applications and workloads. You can use variety of mechanisms to group. The security team needs to be aware of only the application that it is trying to secure based on the policies. The security policies follow the application life cycle, i.e. comes alive when the application is deployed and is destroyed when the application is decommissioned.

    When not to use this: If the environment is pretty static without mobility and infrastructure functions are properly demarcated. You do not need to use application-based policies.

    Application-based policy approach will greatly aid in moving towards a Self-Service IT model. The Security team needs to be only aware of how to secure an application without knowing the underlying topology. Concise and reusable security rules will require application awareness. Thus a proper security posture can be developed via application based policies.

NSX Security-Groups

Security-Groups is a container-construct which allows to group vCenter objects into a common entity.
When defining a Security-Groups, multiple inclusion and exclusion can be used as shown in the diagram below:

NSX Security Groups


Download a full VMware NSX DFW Policy Rules Configuration Technical White Paper

Rating: 5/5

Jun 13

Getting Started – Microsegmentation using NSX Distributed Firewall

Created by nikhilvmw on Sep 4, 2014 9:33 AM. Last modified by nikhilvmw on Sep 4, 2014 9:35 AM.
VMware NSX for vSphere, release 6.0.x.


This document guides you through the step-by-step configuration and validation of NSX-v for microsegmentation services. Microsegmentation makes the data center network more secure by isolating each related group of virtual machines onto a distinct logical network segment, allowing the administrator to firewall traffic traveling from one segment of the data center to another (east-west traffic). This limits attackers’ ability to move laterally in the data center.

VMware NSX uniquely makes microsegmentation scalable, operationally feasible, and cost-effective. This security service provided to applications is now agnostic to virtual network topology. The security configurations we explain in this document can be used to secure traffic among VMs on different L2 broadcast domains or to secure traffic within a L2 broadcast domain.

Microsegmentation is powered by the Distributed Firewall (DFW) component of NSX. DFW operates at the ESXi hypervisor kernel layer and processes packets at near line-rate speed. Each VM has its own firewall rules and context. Workload mobility (vMotion) is fully supported with DFW, and active connections remain intact during the move.

This paper will guide you through two microsegmentation use cases and highlight steps to implement
them in your own environment.

Use Case and Solution Scenarios

This document presents two solution scenarios that use east-west firewalling to handle the use case of
securing network traffic inside the data center. The solution scenarios are:

  • Scenario 1: Microsegmentation for a three-tier application using three different layer-2 logical segments (here implemented using NSX logical switches connected over VXLAN tunnels):

Scenario 1 Logical View.

Figure 1 – Scenario 1 Logical View.

In Scenario 1, there are two VMs per tier, and each tier hosts a dedicated function (WEB / APP / DB
services). Traffic protection is provided within the tier and between tiers. Logical switches are used to
group VMs of same function together.

  • Scenario 2: Microsegmentation for a three-tier application using a single layer-2 logical segment:

Scenario 2 Logical View.

Figure 2 – Scenario 2 Logical View.

In Scenario 2, all VMs are located on same tier. Traffic protection is provided within tier and per function (WEB/ APP/ DB services). Security Groups (SG) are used to logically group VMs of same function together.

For both Scenario 1 and Scenario 2, the following security policies are enforced:

Security Policy

Security Policy

For Scenario 1, a logical switch object is used for source and destination fields. For Scenario 2, a Service Composer / Security Group object is used for source and destination fields. By using these vCenterdefined objects, we optimize the number of needed firewall rules irrespective of number of VMs per tier (or per function).

NOTE: TCP port 1433 simulates the SQL service.

Physical Topology

Physical Topology

Figure 3 – Physical Topology.

Two ESXi hosts in the same cluster are used. Each host has following connectivity to the physical

  • one VLAN for management, vMotion, and storage. Communication between the ESXi host and the NSX Controllers also travels over this VLAN.
  • one VLAN for data traffic: VXLAN-tunneled, VM-to-VM data traffic uses this VLAN.


  • Web-01, app-01 and db-01 VMs are hosted on the first ESXi host.
  • Web-02, app-02 and db-02 VMs are hosted on the second ESXi host.

The purpose of this implementation is to demonstrate complete decoupling of the physical infrastructure from the logical functions such as logical network segments, logical distributed routing and DFW.
In other words, microsegmentation is a logical service offered to an application infrastructure irrespective of physical component. There is no dependency on where each VM is physically located.


Download a full Getting Started: Microsegmentation using NSX Distributed Firewall Guide

Rating: 5/5