2018 was a big year for NSX-T Data Center, VMware’s network virtualization platform designed and optimized for application workloads running on both vSphere and non-vSphere environments, container platforms, and public clouds. In addition to supporting core use cases around security, automation, and multi-cloud networking, NSX-T Data Center has continued to expand the capabilities of the platform to include enabling networking and security for emerging use cases around containers and cloud-native applications. To support these use cases and increasingly deliver value to customers, NSX-T Data Center saw new versions released, improvements made to plug-ins, and integrations across an expanding ecosystem. 2018 also saw NSX-T Data Center gain significant momentum in terms of customer adoption, delivering enhanced and new capabilities across all use cases to a quickly growing number of customer deployments.
Product Releases, Plug-ins, and Integrations
In June, NSX-T Data Center 2.2 was released, bringing with this the ability to manage Microsoft Azure based workloads, referred to as NSX Cloud. The NSX-T Data Center platform was also updated to provide networking and security infrastructure for VMware Cloud on AWS. Other notable capabilities included enhanced data path mode in N-VDS, an improved controller cluster deployment experience, guest VLAN tagging, advanced load balancing enhancements, an officially supported Terraform provider, introduction of the Customer Experience Improvement Program, and much more. Check out the NSX-T 2.2 announcement blog and the release notes linked to in it to get all the technical details.
In September, after VMworld US, NSX-T Data Center 2.3 was made available, introducing further enhancements to its capabilities across multi-cloud, on-premises, and bare metal environments. The 2.3 release extended NSX-T’s capabilities to bare metal and to native AWS workloads, as well as improvement of NSX in Microsoft Azure. There was also improved support for NFV workloads and enhancements to advanced networking and security functions. Overall deployment, management, and use of NSX-T Data Center was also simplified, and the consumption of the platform in OpenStack environments was further improved. Take a look at the NSX-T 2.3 announcements blog and associated release notes for more in depth explanations of feature enhancements in the product.
In order to support rapidly growing use cases for containers and cloud-native applications, the NSX-T Container Plug-in is improving in rapid iterations in parallel to ensure that the capabilities of the NSX-T Data Center platform are brought into application environments built on Kubernetes, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, and OpenShift. The container plug-in enhancements came as version 2.2.1 and 2.3.1, and the specifics of each async release can be seen in their respective release notes.
NSX-T Data Center is also integrated into VMware PKS, and 2018 saw capabilities introduced to the PKS platform to enhance the networking and security of Kubernetes workloads beyond what is typically built in to vanilla Kubernetes. There is an excellent post detailing PKS integration with NSX-T Data Center in a lab environments, complete with topologies, screenshots, and video walkthroughs. Also worth reading is the detailed post explaining how to simplify Kubernetes networking and security with NSX-T Data Center.
Getting Hands-on with NSX-T Data Center
To enable anyone to you get their hands directly on the product and learn more about it from firsthand use, 2018 also saw a number of new and refreshed NSX-T hands-on labs:
- HOL-1926-01-NET – VMware NSX-T Data Center – Getting Started
- HOL-1926-02-NET – Integrating Kubernetes with VMware NSX-T Data Center
- HOL-1926-03-NET – VMware NSX-T Data Center Operations, Troubleshooting and API Consumption
- HOL-1935-01-NET – VMware Pivotal Container Service on VMware NSX-T – Getting Started
- HOL-1943-01-NET – VMware NSX-T and Pivotal Application Service – Getting Started
NSX-T Data Center Deep Dive Sessions
At VMworld US and VMworld Europe in 2018, a wide range of sessions focused on NSX-T topics. The video recordings of these sessions are listed and linked to below.
- Kubernetes Container Networking with NSX-T Data Center Deep Dive
- NSX Design for Cloud-native Apps with Pivotal Cloud Foundry
- Technical Deep Dive: Kubernetes Networking and Security with NSX-T on PKS
- Next-Generation Reference Design with NSX-T Data Center: Part 1
- NSX-T Edge Services: Design and Deployment Options
- Deep Dive into Operationalizing NSX-T Data Center
- Logical Routing Deep Dive on NSX-T Data Center
- NSX-T Data Center Architecture and Benefits
In 2018, customer adoption of the NSX-T Data Center platform increased rapidly and continues to accelerate entering 2019. These deployments also cover a wide range of NSX-T use cases, addressing critical challenges around security with a growing number of micro-segmented applications, automation through cloud-native platforms like Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, and tools like Terraform, multi-cloud networking across multiple private and public cloud environments including AWS and Azure, all while removing operational complexity and modernizing security at a time when our customers’ growth and innovation is paramount. Some of these NSX-T users talked about their experiences with NSX-T Data Center at VMworld US and VMworld Europe. Watch their sessions below to get their insights on NSX-T in their own words.
- Introduction to Container Networking & Security with NSX-T Data Center (featuring Ben Fairclough from William Hill at VMworld Europe)
- Introduction to Container Networking & Security with NSX-T Data Center (featuring Jon Ravenscraft from Kroger at VMworld US)
- Deploying and Automating NSX-T Data Center: lessons from IHS Markit (featuring Andrew Hrycaj from IHS Markit at VMworld US)
- Building a Multi-Tenant Private Cloud with NSX-T Data Center (presented by Rod Hope from Tesco and Satvinder Lall from Computacenter)
- Building Private Clouds with NSX-T Data Center & VIO: Lessons from DMM.com (featuring Naoshi Takahashi from DMM.com)
- Next-Generation Reference Design with NSX-T Data Center: Part 2 (featuring Dan Deane from Advanced Solutions, a DXC company)
- VMworld US Day 2 Keynote (featuring David Matthews from Sky)
- VMworld Europe Day 2 Keynote (featuring Erez Rachmil from Playtika)
Onward and Upward for NSX-T Data Center
2018 proved to be a banner year for NSX-T Data Center, with a long list of new and enhanced capabilities built into the platform with the 2.2 and 2.3 releases, extending its value across on-premises, cloud, and container environments. These capabilities were further improved with asynchronous updates to the NSX-T Container Plug-in to maximize the benefits for NSX-T for container and cloud-native use cases. And the continued integration and enhancement of NSX-T in PKS brought enterprise-grade networking and security into an enterprise-grade Kubernetes platform. From hands-on labs, to deep dive sessions, to rapid customer adoption and sessions talking about their experiences, NSX-T Data Center drove increasing value to customers, and you and your organization can come to realize these benefits as well. As we enter 2019, NSX-T Data Center will continue to be improved with a wider, deeper, and more robust set of features and functions, covering virtually all use cases for the platform across security, automation, multi-cloud networking, containers and cloud-native apps, and more. Keep an eye on VMware’s Network Virtualization Blog for information on upcoming releases and to get all the latest on feature demos, customer stories, events, and more.