vCD SP 8.10 New Features Part 1 – Full NSX Support

As mentioned last week VMware released vCloud Director SP 8.10 and with it a list of significant new features and improvements. In this series I’ll go through most of the new additions a little deeper and comment around their significance. As I talked about last week in my introductory post one of the major updates was full support for NSX 6.1.x and 6.2.x. This coincides with the end of support for vCloud Networking and Security which will go EOL later this year.

This move will force vCAN Service Providers to upgrade to NSX from vShield sooner rather than later and in my opinion that is a good thing even though there are additional architecture complexities to design around as well as the increased cost pressures.

NSX Edge Improvements:

Technically whats different in the vCD 8.10 SP release is that all vDC Edge Gateways are deployed as full NSX Edges whereas before if vCD initiated an Edge deployment the VSE would be deployed at the latest 5.5.x version. Shown below is a comparison of the versions from previous vCD SP builds and the new 8.10 build.

What’s different here is that there is full support NSX ESGs configured through the vCD UI however through the vCD UI you still only have access to configure the base services as shown below. If you go to the Web Client you will see that all the enhanced NSX Edge services are enabled.

One of the other benefits is that there was a lot of issues around the VIX API and VSE monitoring between the NSX Manager and the vCD Cells and Edges loosing sync and become unmanageable. NSX ESGs are monitored and maintained through a Message Bus in a host module which is a lot more stable and should remove those loss of manageability issues. While legacy VSEs are still supported it’s now suggested that all existing VSEs are upgraded to the available ESG version from the NSX Edges Menu under the Networking & Security section of the Web Client.

NSX Advanced Networking Support:

While I am unable to talk about this product in any great detail, most vCAN Service Providers know that there is a ANS product being released that will allow deeper integration between vCD and NSX that will allow vCD Tenants to fully utilize all the features of the NSX Edge Gateways…this has been prepped since the 5.6.x releases and if you right click on an edge gateway you will see a hint of what’s to come.

Official Supportability Matrix:

Below is the official supportability matrix for all vCD SP release and NSX-v…as shown below, 8.10 is good with NSX 6.2.3, 6.1.5 and 6.1.6 but not 6.1.7.

References:

6 comments

  • vCAN Live is next week! So I’m very curious to see which NSX licence types will be included in the vCloud SP bundles. And maybe this also has an effect on whether or not VIO is available in the lower bundles (now only the premier-x and premier-x plus).

  • Andrej Gortchivkin

    Hey Anthony,

    Any idea if VCD 8.10 (or any upcoming releases) and NSX can be integrated in Unicast mode for the VXLAN transport zone ? So far my observation is that VCD 8.10 still keeps driving NSX the old fashioned way by utilizing multicast method even with a brand new deployment. Manual assignments of Unicast based network pools and external networks for VDC’s is a no go for production environment IMHO and this probably isn’t supported by VMware anyway, so I wonder if you may heard anything on this one by VMware representatives.

    • Hey there…it’s 100% integrated and works with unicast. There should be a VXLAN Network pool created by default in vCloud Director, this should be in error state since VXLAN was not per-configured. Right Click the network pool and choose repair to recreate the transport zone. Once complete there should now be a transport zone created under the logical network preparation tab. Edit the transport zone and change the Control Plane mode to Unicast.

      • Andrej Gortchivkin

        Thanks for the confirmation. It seems that this method works well with a brand new environment, but not necessarily with existing one. I still need to investigate why my old vCD deployment doesn’t want to cooperate properly but in the past I’ve tried switching manually the mode there and the VM’s across different hosts just refused to reach each other. With multicast there were no issues at all. As a side note the old vCD had been upgraded constantly since pre v8.x, so I suppose some bugs might have been causing the issues.

        Now with a brand new vCD deployment everything seems to be working well even in Unicast mode. I suppose there might be something wrong with my VXLAN settings in the old vCD deployment, but I’m going to rebuild it anyway, so not a big deal. Anyway thanks again.

  • Maybe slightly off topic, but do you know VCD supports NSX 6.2 Cross-vCenter functionality?

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