NSX-T 2.4

Today saw the release of NSX-T 2.4 which believe it or not is the 7th release of this software since 1.0 first launched in mid 2016. VMware have been on a bit of a journey until now with NSX-T but it’s quite clear this is the primary focus moving forward. 

The Vision

Connect and Protect Any Workload Across Any Environment 

With the release of 2.4 VMware have now realised this vision being able to support both cloud and on-premises workloads running on

  • ESXi
  • KVM
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • VMConAWS

Installation and Operations 

The HTML5 UI has had a face lift and now offers a context based search option and can offer suggestions based on your search phrase. The UI is meant to be friendly enough to be used by people with limited exposure to NSX-T. Improvements have been made to the dashboards including the NSX-T overview which offers high level information with the option to drill down into feature based dashboards for further detail.

To help with installation and setup tasks, a significant amount of work has gone into creating workflows to deploy components or features such as deploying load balancers or preparing ESXi clusters. The upgrade coordinator has also been enhanced and upgrades no longer require a host reboot which will save a significant amount of time in larger environments. 

Feature Enhancements

There are far too many to list in this post but here are 3 things that caught my attention.

  1. NSX Manager: With 2.4 there have been some changes around the management and control plane architecture. The NSX Manager and Controllers have now been converged which reduces the amount of management overhead. To provide high availability a 3-node cluster is deployed. 
  2. Identity Based Firewall and Guest Introspection: 2.4 brings support for Layer 7 application context-based firewall, identity-based firewall and FQDN/URL whitelisting. Guest Introspection has been reworked and has a new framework when compared to NSX-V. BitDefender and Trend Micro have been announced with more detail due soon once certification has been completed.
  3. NSX-V to NSX-T Migration: This must have been one of the most requested features but finally there is a built in migration tool to allow migrations from a NSX-V environment to a NSX-T environment. This is a wizard driven process and will walk through a V-T migration including migrating vmkernel ports from the vDS to the N-vDS switch. Very nice.

Summary

I’m really looking forward to getting this deployed in the lab and trying out some of this new functionality. VMware have said this is their biggest release of NSX-T yet. I’m currently deploying NSX-T 2.3 using this awesome guide written by Jim Streit from VMware, so my plan will be to try out the improved upgrade coordinator to get to 2.4.

https://blogs.vmware.com/services-education-insights/2019/02/why-everyone-needs-an-nsx-nested-lab-sandbox.html

I’ve only scratched the surface with NSX-T 2.4 so I’d encourage you to read the full announcement below.

https://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/2019/02/introducing-nsx-t-2-4-a-landmark-release-in-the-history-of-nsx.html/

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