On the 2nd of February VMware released the next major release of NSX for vSphere. NSX for vSphere 6.3.0 adds a number of new features. Here is some more detail about some of the more useful additions.

Universal Security Tags

A personal comment – “Hell, It’s about time”.

Building Universal firewall rules have quite simply been a pure headache until now. How did you define a remote group membership for a Virtual Machine? If a workload migrated to another vCenter how did it gain its security policy?

Universal Security Tags allow a local machine to be configured with a tag that is used by all xVC vCenters. This allows membership to be far more deterministic and the Security Group added to rules accordingly.

It is good to see cross vCenter becoming more mature.

Distributed Firewall Timers

Granularity where required.

Timers have always been a weapon of Firewall Admins to help application admins to odd things. Standard sessions timers have been the bane of many DB admin’s around the world. NSX for vSphere now allows customers to configure per VM and even per vNIC. A Distributed Firewall session timer configuration can tweak and modify a selection of TCP, UDP, and ICMP settings and then be applied to a single or group of VMs and their relevant NICs.

Read more on Session timers here VMware Documentation Library

I will be covering this in more details soon.

Reboot-less upgrades

Reboot-less upgrades allow administrators who are performing an NSX for vSphere upgrade to skip the slow part – rebooting a host. Hosts with large memory, VSAN configuration, and other settings can take a while to boot up (~15 minutes). Multiply that by the number of hosts in each cluster for each cluster and quickly you begin to have a long upgrade window.

When a host is being upgraded it is placed into maintenance mode automatically by the upgrade process. This serial process will evacuate a single host into maintenance mode and the upgrade of the NSX VIBs will occur. The validity of the upgrade and ‘readiness’ of NSX is validated before then release it from maintenance mode.

This starts to make the upgrade process a little more mature and less lengthy.

Read the release notes about 6.3.0 here: 6.3.0 Release Notes

Check out more here with VMware’s official Release post : Introducing VMware NSX for vSphere 6.3 & VMware NSX-T 1.1  – The Network Virtualization Blog

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