The update of NSX for vSphere to 6.1 brings around a few new features which nicely complement the existing virtual networking suite. I am going to comment on some of the larger and more exciting features and some things that I’ve been waiting on for a while.
Equal Cost Multi Path is now supported within the NSX software. This allows network topologies to have up to 8 paths supported in a two stage fabric. This subsequently provides 80Gbps of aggregate North-South bandwidth for a particular application or topology. To further allow scale-out of these networks, ECMP applies to static routing, OSPF, iBGP and eBGP routing protocols.
From a design point of view it is now possible to provide traffic load sharing between the Distributed Logical Router and the NSX edges and subsequently from the NSX edges to the physical network peerings.
It has been commented in many places about L2 VPN support in NSX. The ability to create L2 VPNs to enable workload mobility has seen great traction. There was a caveat where the both end points required NSX to run. In the 6.1 update the L2 VPN feature has been decoupled from NSX. This means that if a customer has a site running a workload that wants to move to an NSX enabled environment the particular source site does not need to be running NSX.
This makes the notion of migrating new workloads into a NSX enabled environment very easy. I am under the impression that this can work the other way too if the need arises. The use cases for such a decoupling are:
- Workload Migration
- SP tenant on boarding
- Stretched application tiers
- The infamous Cloud Burst
UDP load balancing
There are enhancements to the load balancing and HA functionality. Probably the most notable improvement would be the ability to provide load balancing UDP and FTP load balancing. This allows applications such as syslog, NTP and DNS to benefit from load balancing functionality.
These updates add a great amount of functionality to the existing toolbox. The 6.1 version of NSX-v will be coming shortly and there are many more great tweaks, fixes and feature inclusion. I suppose this is one of the benefits of software is that it is only a short time between a request and a feature gets brought into the product.