NSX Terms

Let’s crack open a can of acronym soup, because NSX is full of them. Seriously, typing about NSX makes my pinky fingers real shift workers.

Software Defined Networking (SDN): Software-defined anything refers to decoupling the management from physical architecture. SDN is moving the management and configuration of the Datacentre Network away from the physical devices (underlay) to a central platform (overlay).

Network Edge: In NSX the Edge (or NSX Edge) is the point where traffic leaves NSX network to traverse another (Typically physical) network. This other network could be a WAN link, Internet or a physically separate network.

Consumption Layer: The consumption layer includes items such as self-service portals, cloud management and automation systems. Typically, an item in the consumption will pass API calls to the manager for configuration

Management Plane: NSX manager is the management plane component for most NSX components. For the DFW, vCenter Server is the management plane and the NSX manager sits on the control plane. The management plane defines the ‘What to do’

NSX Manager exposes API for consumption and provides the Web UI plugins for vCenter to enable configuration of the NSX deployment.

Control Plane: The control plane communicates with the data plane. It receives the ‘what to do’ from the management plane, processes and tells the data plane ‘how to do’

Data Plan: The data plane is where the Ethernet frames reside, it will receive configuration on tasks to perform and how to perform them. It will then process traffic based on that configuration. This is the only plane that data touches.

Maximum Transmission Unit MTU: The maximum size a frame can be. Frames above this size are fragmented, which can cause issues. VXLAN adds 50 Bytes to an Ethernet frame. The recommended MTU is 1600.

As posts on NSX continue, interactions between the management, control and data planes will be further explained.