VMware NSX Review

The VMware NSX platform offers safe virtual networks formed on the existing physical network and virtual server framework. 

By using software-defined networking (SDN), NSX programmatically outlines virtual networks, irrespective of the underlying hardware of your infrastructure. Increasing the network’s capacity can be done by constituting a new virtual network or re-organizing the current network instead of buying more equipment. So NSX helps companies limit hardware expenses, while offering higher security, automation, and distant administration abilities.

See below to learn all about where VMware NSX stands in the network virtualization sector:

See examples of How Virtualization is Used by Nasdaq, Bowmicro, Nilkamal, Isala, University of Pisa, and AeC: Case Studies.

VMware and the Network Virtualization Market

The worldwide network function virtualization marketplace is expected to increase from $12.9 billion in the year 2019 to $36.3 billion in the year 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9%, according to Markets and Markets.

Developed from Nicira’s Network Virtualization Platform and VMware’s vCloud Networking and Security, NSX is a virtual security and network virtualization solution. Data suggests that around 14% of businesses will consider using the platform in the coming two years. 

NSX software-defined networking is a VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) concept that offers cloud computing on its virtualization tools. 

VMware’s chosen objective with NSX is to provide virtual networking environments with zero command-line interfaces or any administrator interruption. The network virtualization extracts the operations from the present hardware on a virtualization layer similar to server virtualization offers for OSs and processing power. 

NSX reveals appropriate firewalls, routers, ports, and related networking equipment to allow virtual networking in cloud management systems, linked network hardware, and hypervisors. It also aids external networking and safety ecosystem services.

Competitors in the market include:

  • Arista Networks
  • Extreme Networks
  • Project Calico
  • Cisco ACI
  • HAProxy

See all about the Virtualization Market.

Key Features

Some of the critical features of VMware NSX include:

Logical Switching

NSX helps create logical switches functioning as address space amid logical networks. So you are no longer restricted to 4096 physical broadcast domains, majorly due to VXLAN overlay networks.

Gateway Services

The Edge Gateway services link the logical networks with physical ones. So you can send and receive traffic using a virtual machine (VM) linked to a logical network through the gateway.

Logical Routing

NSX helps a hypervisor understand and route between various logical networks by restricting the conventional north-south direction of data center routing. Logical routers also offer north-south connection, permitting access to workloads in physical networks.

Logical Firewall

Transiting from a centric security method to single virtual machine protection. VMware NSX lets you use a distributed logical firewall and an edge firewall in your SDN architecture.

Extensibility

The extensibility feature of NSX helps you integrate third-party VMware partner solutions straight into the NSX platform to provide several service offerings.

Load Balancer

NSX offers several network and security services, and load balancing is included in it. The two load balancing options NSX offers are proxy mode and inline mode. With these features, it is able to distribute incoming requests among several servers to help equal load distribution.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The VMware VPN service helps you develop safely encrypted connectivity for end users for your apps and workloads in the public and private cloud.

Key Benefits

VMware NSX provides users with several benefits, including:

Established Virtualization SDDC Platform

NSX offers networking abilities that VMware delivers for storage and computing. It allows you to create, delete, restore, and save virtual networks on-demand with no physical network changes.

Better Security Practices

Dissimilar to hardware-defined networks, it offers SDDC safety with automated security practices linked to virtual devices, making it easier to develop fully secure networks using virtualization in the program. The method divides and separates networks for higher security.

Enhanced IT Automation

Manual data center practices are the hassles of an IT professional’s job and a monetary hassle on the company’s budget. NSX helps with network virtualization, thereby automating labor-intensive practices, reducing errors, and easing network configuration, management.

Higher App Continuity

An NSX platform provides great integration with third-party products to deploy them automatically. Also, to keep apps consistently operational, NSX offers disaster recovery by reducing the requirement of reconfiguring security practices and re-IP workloads manually.

Use Cases

Zero-Trust Security

The segmentation feature of NSX is used to lock down major programs, develop a software demilitarized zone (DMZ), and lower the attack surface of a virtual desktop environment. For NSX, zero-trust security is possible in both public and private cloud contexts. The granular micro-segmentation security, 7-layer controls, and profoundly simplified management help secure critical environments and workloads.

Handle Containers

Like VMs, VMware NSX offers full-stack, completely integrated networking and safety for the container apps. Microservices benefit from Kubernetes’ intrinsic container networking, granular segmentation and comprehensive observation.

Data Center Extension

NSX Data Center expands on-premises data centers to more locations and the cloud through NSX Cloud, helping companies to enjoy benefits like affordability, scalability, and zero redundancy. Moreover, VMware NSX Hybrid Connects offers IT professionals the benefit of migrating apps across the VMware vSphere platform safely and seamlessly with zero downtime and large-scale migrations.

Disaster Recovery

NSX Data Center offers continuous logical networking and safety across secured recovery sites during emergencies, lowering the recovery time objective. The apps can be recovered instantly at the site while retaining their IP and security setups. VMware NSX Data Center also simplifies building up test networks for testing recovery technologies without interrupting production.

Companies Using NSX 

Armor

Armor offers secure virtual cloud hosting to over 1,200 customers in its enterprise sector. The company adopted NSX to offer an integrated solution to its customers. They required a segmented database scheme to offer a highly secure cloud, which they achieved through VMware. NSX offered better API tools and the power to maintain and transfer key settings for clients.

Baystate Health

Baystate Health faced the issue of a lack of hyper-convergence before adopting NSX. The company checked out several other products but didn’t get the deep integration in the abstraction sphere and chose NSX.

Illini Cloud

Illini Cloud is a regional cloud co-op operational in Illinois and six other U.S. states. They offer cloud services to schools, colleges, and state entities. The organization used three NSX data centers to help with services, like firewall, load balancing, and private and safer inter-data center communication. NSX offered a level of agility and flexibility for segmentation.

VMware NSX Differentiators

Customers that choose VMware NSX often do so because of these differentiators below:

Gateway Firewall

A complete stateful L4–L7 firewall is used to provide safety in a comprehensive, enterprise-level network firewall. It consists of network address translation (NAT), user identity, and L7 app identification.

Multiple Cloud Networking and Safety

Irrespective of the fundamental physical framework or cloud service, NSX offers continuous networking and safety through data center locations and public and private cloud platforms.

Context-Responsive Microsegmentation

To offer adaptive microsegmentation practices, security groups and processes are dynamically set up and automatically updated according to the features apart from IP addresses, ports, and modus operandi, such as machine name, OS type, and Layer 7 program details and machine tags.

Procedures, depending on identity information from Active Directory and related sources, offer user-standard safety to single-user session-standard safety in remote desktop services and virtual desktop infrastructure.

NSX Intelligence

The NSX Network Detection and Response (NDR) service can associate intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS), network transfer analysis (NTA), and sandbox signals to acknowledge authentic interruptions once they are integrated into the centralized management platform or NSX Intelligence.

Further, NSX Intelligence now consists of scale-out performance and advancements to firewall regulation suggestions to simplify and automate network segmentation in-app traffic.

User Reviews of VMware NSX

VMware NSX has garnered positive customer ratings at several user review sites:

Review Site Rating
Gartner Peer Insights 4.5 out of 5
G2 4.4 out of 5
PeerSpot 3.9 out of 5

A few reviews posted about VMware NSX are:

  • “Enjoy microsegmentation with NSX and get a plethora of services and features.”
  • “Simple and robust SDN Solution”
  • “Best network virtualization”

Conclusions

VMware NSX virtualizes security and networking processes, offering quicker deployment via automation and removing error-susceptible manual processes. Full app life cycle automation ensures practices are supplied and maintained in collaboration with workloads, wiping out the bottlenecks during the life of an application.

The automated method offers quick, continuous networking and safety for old and new apps, regardless of whether they are located in the data center, the NSX cloud, or the public or private cloud. It helps automate conventional IT chores, new cloud platforms and frameworks, and consistent operations, allowing IT companies and developers to progress with the business.

The recent release widens and deepens the use cases involving multiple cloud safety, container scaling networking, and easier operations. For more information, it comes with detailed release notes highlighting the new capabilities and features.

Overall, VMware NSX allows speedy migration and fail over by retaining the networking services of an app, combining networking amenities with application workload. Hence, the IP addresses, safety practices, and other services linked with the workloads, either a VM or container-dependent, remain the same, while seamlessly migrating from one platform to another.

Also looking for a server virtualization product?: VMware: vSphere Review.

Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas is a writer with 9+ years of experience writing about SaaS, cloud communications, data analytics, IT security, and STEM topics. In addition to IT Business Edge, he's been a contributor to publications including Interesting Engineering, Machine Design, Design World, and several other peer-reviewed journals. Kashyap is also a digital marketing enthusiast and runs his own small consulting agency.

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