VMware Expands NSX Network Virtualization Capabilities

Tuesday Feb 7th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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New releases of NXS for vSphere and NXS-T provide new features to make it easier for organization to deploy, manage and secure virtual networks.

VMware's NSX network virtualization platform is moving forward with a pair of updates for both vSphere and other virtualization platforms. The new updates provide improved automation and security capabilities for virtual network deployments.

The two new updates are VMware NSX for vSphere 6.3 and VMware NSX-T 1.1.

"NSX for vSphere is the majority of our customer base," Milin Desai vice president of Products, Networking and Security Business Unit, VMware, told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet. "NSX-T had a soft launch nine months ago, for cloud native apps and public clouds, it's really just NSX for heterogeneous networks.

VMware has its own cloud native container platform called Photon that became commercially available at the end of 2016, which is one of the areas where NSX-T will fit in.

Among the new items in NSX are things that Desai referred to as 'day two' operations, which are elements of the platform that users need to deal with once they are already up and running. The improved components include an enhance centralized dashboard and more granular reporting capabilities. NSX now also benefits from capabilities that VMware gained with its June 2016 acquisition of Arkin, helping to bring together virtual and physical assets.

A core promise of NSX is that it can help to create micro-segmented networks that provide improved isolation and security. To that end, there is a new application rule manager and an endpoint monitoring capability that VMware is now providing for NSX. Desai said that an organization can observe a set virtual machines that belong to a given application for a period of time. The NSX platform now includes an analyze function that will provide a set of rules to help create policy rules.

"So you can move from a non-segmented to a segmented environment quickly and without having to do a lot of rocket science around it," Desai said. "We think this will help customers to get their apps into production faster."

There is also new Virtual Desktop support to help lock down up to 50,000 desktops, in an effort to protect against ransomware and other online threats. Disaster recovery options have also been enhanced, with the ability to easily copy, paste and synchronize policy such that when a deployment fails over to a secondary location, everything still works as it should.

NSX is now also in the process of being certified by ICSA as a network firewall. NSX provides users with a line-rate stateful firewall capability.

"Our primary use-case around segmentation is for firewalls," Desai said. "Our early adopter and customers were using NSX as a firewall and now that we're getting more adoption we thought it might be a good idea to become a corporate certified ICSA firewall."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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