DefinIT

NST-T 2.0 Lab Build: Logical Router Configuration

| 19/12/2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab – if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs!

Lab Environment

This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.

Physical, virtual and nested components of the NSX-T lab

Deployment Plan

I will follow the deployment plan from the NSX-T 2.0 documentation:

  • Install NSX Manager.
  • Install NSX Controllers.
    • Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.
    • Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.
    • Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.
  • Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.
  • Install NSX Edges.
    • Join NSX Edges with the management plane.
  • Create transport zones and transport nodes.
  • Configure Logical Routing and BGP

When this post series is complete, the network topology should be something like this, with two hostswitches configured. The ESXi Hosts will have a Tunnel Endpoint IP address, as will the Edge. The Edge will also have an interface configured for a VLAN uplink.

The NSX-T Transport Node network configuration

In this post I will walk through configuring VLAN Logical Switch, Tier-0 Router, Tier-1 Router, Uplink Profiles and BGP dynamic routing to the physical router.
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Introduction to NSX APIs – vBrownBag

| 24/11/2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of presenting an introduction to the NSX APIs on vBrownBag EMEA – you can view the recording below or on vBrownBag’s youtube channel.

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NSX-T 2.0 Lab Build: Adding a vCenter Compute Manager and Preparing Hosts

Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab – if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs!

Lab Environment

This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.

Physical, virtual and nested components of the NSX-T lab

Deployment Plan

I will follow the deployment plan from the NSX-T 2.0 documentation:

  • Install NSX Manager.
  • Install NSX Controllers.
    • Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.
    • Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.
    • Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.
  • Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.
  • Install NSX Edges.
    • Join NSX Edges with the management plane.
  • Create transport zones and transport nodes.

When this post series is complete, the network topology should be something like this, with two hostswitches configured. The ESXi Hosts will have a Tunnel Endpoint IP address, as will the Edge. The Edge will also have an interface configured for a VLAN uplink.

The NSX-T Transport Node network configuration

In this post I will walk through configuring the Transport Zone, Transport Nodes, Edge Cluster and other configuration required to support the deployment.
(more…)

NSX-T 2.0 Lab Build: ESXi Host Preparation

| 26/09/2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab – if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs!

Lab Environment

This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.

Physical, virtual and nested components of the NSX-T lab

Deployment Plan

I will follow the deployment plan from the NSX-T 2.0 documentation:

  • Install NSX Manager.
  • Install NSX Controllers.
    • Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.
    • Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.
    • Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.
  • Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.
  • Install NSX Edges.
    • Join NSX Edges with the management plane.
  • Create transport zones and transport nodes.

When this post series is complete, the network topology should be something like this, with two hostswitches configured. The ESXi Hosts will have a Tunnel Endpoint IP address, as will the Edge. The Edge will also have an interface configured for a VLAN uplink.

The NSX-T Transport Node network configuration

In this post I will walk through configuring the Transport Zone, Transport Nodes, Edge Cluster and other configuration required to support the deployment.
(more…)

NSX-T 2.0 Lab Build: Deploying Controller Cluster

Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab – if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs!

Lab Environment

This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.

Physical, virtual and nested components of the NSX-T lab

Deployment Plan

I will follow the deployment plan from the NSX-T 2.0 documentation:

  • Install NSX Manager.
  • Install NSX Controllers.
    • Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.
    • Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.
    • Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.
  • Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.
  • Install NSX Edges.
    • Join NSX Edges with the management plane.
  • Create transport zones and transport nodes.

When this post series is complete, the network topology should be something like this, with two hostswitches configured. The ESXi Hosts will have a Tunnel Endpoint IP address, as will the Edge. The Edge will also have an interface configured for a VLAN uplink.

The NSX-T Transport Node network configuration

In this post I will walk through deploying the NSX Controllers and creating the NSX Controller Cluster.
(more…)

Sam’s #VMworld 2017: Network and Security keynote and NSX-T Architecture Deep Dive #NET1863BE

| 13/09/2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Transforming Networking and Security for the Digital Era

Wednesday morning I attended the Network and Security keynote which, if I’m honest, I found to be a bit boring. To be fair, it was probably aimed at business leaders and maybe not those that are technical. There were three customer stories, but I would have liked to have heard much more about the problems that NSX solved for them specifically, rather than being datacenter transformation/cloud journey stories that included NSX. For me, it felt like there was nothing new in the presentation that hadn’t been covered in the general sessions. I would have liked to have seen and heard a bit more what the NSBU’s leadership think is going to be big over the next 5 years. (more…)

Sam’s #VMworld 2017: Intro to NSX-T Architecture #NET1510BE and NSX-T and Kubernetes #NET1522BE

| 12/09/2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

It will be no surprise, given my impending move to the VMware PSO NSX Practice, that this morning I’ve been focussing on NSX-T. The two sessions I attended were the Introduction to NSX-T Architecture and Integrating NSX-T with Kubernetes. In a weird twist of scheduling, the Kubernetes session was before the introduction session, but it worked out OK.

I found the Kubernetes session really enjoyable and really felt like the speakers delivered a great overview of the integration and how they work together. I was pleasantly surprised with how familiar a lot of the concepts were, coming from an NSX-v and vRealize Automation background. It’s similar, but different! This is something I can really get my teeth into.

Moving into the NSX-T architecture session, Kevin and Dimitri walked through the components and functions of NSX-T and demonstrated integration with OpenStack as a cloud management platform to automate deployments. Again I was pleased with the familiarity of all the concepts and terminology. (more…)

The next big thing…

| 07/09/2017 | Tags: , , ,

Just under two months ago I left my role at Xtravirt and started life as a contractor. At that point I was content to live the contractor life for a year or so and see what opportunities came along. I didn’t expect opportunity to come along so quickly!

TLDR; I’m joining VMware as part of the PSO NSX practice!

I’ve seen VMware as the place that I would end up working for a while now, having worked as a customer and a partner it seemed like a logical progression. And NSX is a rocket-ship that is gathering speed and momentum, it’s viewed by many as critical to the future of VMware as the public cloud begins to eat the more traditional datacenter. With so much focus on NSX at VMworld this year, I am convinced of this.

I was really blessed to get onto an early NSX Technical Boot Camp all the way back in June 2014, and I’ve spent the last few years working with vRA and NSX, with the emphasis placed more on the vRA side. This role will see me shift the emphasis onto NSX, but keep the cloud and automation skills warm too. NSX comes alive when it’s automated with vRA, and vRA becomes so much more when it’s automating NSX.

In the past I’ve said that the company that nails cross-cloud connectivity first will win, and I think that NSX is getting to a level of maturity and functionality that means VMware will be that winner. I also said that I believe we will see NSX underpinning connectivity between multiple public and private clouds, orchestrated and managed by vRA as a “broker of clouds”. I think that we’re seeing that begin to happen now with VMware’s Cross Cloud strategy, as NSX underpins connectivity for VMware Cloud on AWS, and they begin to roll out NSX Cloud to other providers.

So, my first day at VMware will be the week after VMworld Barcelona. I am very much looking forward to joining an excellent team in the NSX practice, I know that I have a lot to learn and some awesome people to learn it from – but as a friend said when we were talking about the opportunity – “take the job that scares you most!”

Getting started with vRealize Log Insight 4.3 for vRealize Automation 7

| 14/03/2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

In this humble consultant’s opinion, Log Insight is one of the most useful tools in the administrator’s tool belt for troubleshooting vRealize Automation. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked to help troubleshoot an issue that, when asked, people don’t know which log they should be looking at. The simple fact is that vRealize Automation has a lot of log files. Correlating these log sources to provide an overall picture is a painful, manual process – unless you have Log Insight!

Installing the Content Packs

In order to get the full picture of what’s going on during a vRA deployment you will likely need to correlate logs from vRA, vRO and NSX. Installing and configuring these is pretty easy.

I am going to assume the vSphere integration has already been configured, and all ESXi hosts are forwarding their logs to Log Insight already. (more…)