VMware NSX 6.2 goes GA
Yesterday VMware released the 6.2 version of NSX. With this release comes a whole battery of new features and a lot of fixes. This new version of NSX will support multiple vCenter instances, which in my opinion is a great addition to an already great product.
Some of the new and changed features in NSX vSphere 6.2 include the following :
Cross vCenter Networking and Security
- NSX 6.2 with vSphere 6.0 supports Cross vCenter NSX where logical switches (LS), distributed logical routers (DLR) and distributed firewalls (DFW) can be deployed across multiple vCenters, thereby enabling logical networking and security for applications with workloads (VMs) that span multiple vCenters or multiple physical locations.
- Consistent firewall policy across multiple vCenters: Firewall Rule Sections in NSX can now be marked as “Universal” whereby the rules defined in these sections get replicated across multiple NSX managers. This simplifies the workflows involving defining consistent firewall policy spanning multiple NSX installations
- Cross vCenter vMotion with DFW: Virtual Machines that have policies defined in the “Universal” sections can be moved across hosts that belong to different vCenters with consistent security policy enforcement.
- Universal Security Groups: Security Groups in NSX 6.2 that are based on IP Address, IP Set, MAC Address and MAC Set can now be used in Universal rules whereby the groups and group memberships are synced up across multiple NSX managers. This improves the consistency in object group definitions across multiple NSX managers, and enables consistent policy enforcement
- Universal Logical Switch (ULS) – This new functionality introduced in NSX 6.2 as a part of Cross vCenter NSX allows creation of logical switches that can span multiple vCenters, allowing the network administrator to create a contiguous L2 domain for an application or tenant.
- Universal Distributed Logical Router (UDLR) – This new functionality introduced in NSX 6.2 as a part of Cross vCenter NSX allows creation of distributed logical routers that can span multiple vCenters. The universal distributed logical routers enable routing across the universal logical switches described earlier. In addition, NSX UDLR is capable of localized north-south routing based on the physical location of the workloads.
Operations and Troubleshooting Enhancements
- New traceflow troubleshooting tool: Traceflow is a troubleshooting tool that helps identify if the problem is in the virtual or physical network. It provides the ability to trace a packet from source to destination and helps observe how that packet passes through the various network functions in the virtual network.
- Flow monitoring and IPFIX separation: In NSX 6.1.x, NSX supported IPFIX reporting, but IPFIX reporting could be enabled only if flow reporting to NSX Manager was also enabled. Flow monitoring with IPFIX functionality are included in NSX Manager in layer deployment. Starting in NSX 6.2.0, these features are decoupled. In NSX 6.2.0 and later, you can enable IPFIX independent of flow monitoring on NSX Manager.
- Central CLI: Central CLI reduces troubleshooting time for distributed network functions. Commands are run from the NSX Edge command line and retrieve information from controllers, hosts, and the NSX Manager. This allows you to quickly access and compare information from multiple sources. The central CLI provides information about logical switches, logical routers, distributed firewall and edges.
- CLI ping command adds configurable packet size and do-not-fragment flag: Starting in NSX 6.2.0, the NSX CLI ‘ping’ command offers options to specify the data packet size (not including the ICMP header) and to set the do-not-fragment flag.
- Show health of the communication channels: NSX 6.2.0 adds the ability to create communication channel health. The channel health status between NSX Manager and the firewall agent, between NSX Manager and the control plane agent, between host and the NSX Controller can be seen from the NSX Manager UI. In addition, this feature detects when configuration messages from the NSX Manager have been lost before being applied to a host, and it instructs the host to reload its NSX configuration when such message failures occur.
- Standalone Edge L2 VPN client CLI: Prior to NSX 6.2, a standalone NSX Edge L2 VPN client could be configured only through OVF parameters. Commands specific to standalone NSX Edge have been added to allow configuration using the command line interface. The OVF is now used for initial configuration only.
Logical Networking and Routing
- L2 Bridging Interoperability with Distributed Logical Router: With VMware NSX for vSphere 6.2, L2 bridging can now participate in distributed logical routing. The VXLAN network to which the bridge instance is connected, will be used to connect the routing instance and the bridge instance together.
- Support of relayed DHCP request on the ESG DHCP server
- Ability to keep VLAN tags over VXLAN
- Support of administrative distance for static route
- Ability to enable/disable uRPF check per interface on Edge
- Display AS path in CLI command show ip bgp
- HA interface exclusion from redistribution into routing protocols on the DLR control VM
- Distributed logical router (DLR) force-sync avoids data loss for east-west routing traffic across the DLR.
Networking and Edge Services
- The management interface of the DLR has been renamed to HA interface. This has been done to highlight the fact that the HA keepalives are going through this interface and issues on this interface can result in split-brain situation.
- LB Health Monitoring Improvements: Delivers granular health monitoring, that reports information on failure, keeps track of last health check and status change, and reports failure reasons.
- Support VIP and Pool port range: Enables LB support for applications that require a range of ports.
- Increased number of VIP: VIP support increased up to 1024.
Security Service Enhancements
- New IP address discovery mechanisms for VMs: Authoritative enforcement of security policy based on VM names or other vCenter-based attributes requires that NSX know the IP address of the VM. In NSX 6.1 and earlier, IP address discovery for each VM relied on the presence of VMware Tools (vmtools) on that VM or the manual authorization of the IP address for that VM. NSX 6.2 introduces the option to discover the VM’s IP address using DHCP snooping or ARP snooping. These new discovery mechanisms enable NSX to enforce IP address-based security rules on VMs that do not have VMware Tools installed.
- Support for vSphere 6.0 Platform Services Controller topologies: NSX now supports external Platform Services Controllers (PSC), in addition to the already supported embedded PSC configurations.
- Support for vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for NSX 1.0.2: With NSX 6.2 release, NSX-vRO plug-in v1.0.2 is introduced in vRealize Automation (vRA).
To get a full overview of all the new features, changes and fixes head on over to the release notes page.
- VMware NSX 6.2: Support for Multiple vCenters by Martijn Smit
- You want micro-segmentation? vRealize Network Insight is… by Erik Scholten
- VMware NSX-v Configuration Maximums by Martijn Smit
- The Future of Virtual Networking from VMworld – Part 1 by Martijn Smit
- What’s new in vSphere 6 vMotion Enhancements by Erik Scholten