vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) continues to enhance the visibility and management of overlay and underlay networks. With the launch of version 3.3, a number of new features were introduced. In this blog post, I will cover four of the new features, including new event management options, user-defined event enhancements, improved NAT visibility, and new IP address space support.
New Event Management Options
A key feature of vRNI are the 100+ NSX-focused event checks included out of the box. Eleven new NSX focused event checks have been added in this release. These events are meant to ensure NSX is installed and managed using VMware best practices. There are also numerous additional events, not specific to NSX, that are very useful for correlating changes and problems across the environment.
vRNI 3.3 improves the event management experience in several ways. First, several new options are provided to filter events. These filters allow you to quickly find a relevant change or problem in your environment. For problem events, vRNI now designates an event as opened or closed based on the detected condition. In other words, the event closes once the identified problem is resolved. The built-in events also include a designated severity level. The new severity level designations are Info, Warning, Moderate, and Critical. These severity levels will help you prioritize problem resolution in your environment. Many events now also provide recommendations to help you resolve the detected problem. With these updates, you will be able to more efficiently and rapidly detect, understand, and resolve problems.
Assign Severity Levels to User-defined Events
We also enhanced how user-defined events work by giving you the option to name events and add a severity level. User-defined events continue to be driven by the search query. Using search to define events offers a great deal of flexibility for your environment. The event is triggered either when search results change or when no results are returned. If the event is marked as a problem, a severity designation will be associated. Once created, user-defined events are managed within settings.
NAT Visibility Within Path Details
NAT often presents a challenge when we attempt to determine source information for Micro-segmentation planning and general troubleshooting. With vRNI 3.3 our goal was to improve the path visibility between VMs as a packet traverses an NSX Edge with an applied NAT rule. As we can see in the screenshot, when you hover over the NSX Edge with NAT in the path, the original source and translated source IP details are presented. Additionally, the paths are color-coded to depict traversal across different NAT segments. Understanding both source IP addresses and the placement of NAT rules can dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to understand a configuration or track down problems.
Define East–West and North–South IP Address Spaces
By default, vRNI treats flows across non-RFC1918 IP ranges as public and does not classify them as East – West traffic. We initially offered the ability to add Non-RFC1918 address spaces, for non-Internet designation, in vRNI 3.1. This capability allows you to designate what would typically be considered public IPs as East-West traffic. More information is available on RFC1918 at the following link: RFC1918.
In vRNI 3.3, you can now add specific external networks to be designated North-South. You may be asking, doesn’t vRNI already do that? The basic answer is yes, however there may be flows across public IP ranges that you want to tag for specific cross-cloud micro-segmentation needs. For example, you want to plan and implement micro-segmentation for the multi-tier application residing partially in your datacenter and partially in the public cloud. Now you can understand how the services, which make up that multi-tier application, are communicating across clouds.
vRNI Continues to Raise the Bar
As you can see, vRealize Network Insight continues to improve and add capability with each release. These four new feature enhancements bring customer-driven requirements to the latest release for better management and visibility of your overlay and underlay networks.