NSX and vShield Edges support site to site IPSec VPN between Edge instances and remote sites. Behind each remote VPN router, you can configure multiple subnets to connect to the internal network behind an Edge through IPSec tunnels. These subnets and the internal network behind the Edges must have address ranges that do not overlap. You can have a maximum of 64 tunnels across a maximum of 10 sites.

NSX Edges are also capable of L2 VPNs where you can stretch both VXLAN and VLAN across geographical sites…This allows VMs to remain on the same subnet when they are moved between sites with the IP addresses not changing. L2 VPN allows seamless migration of workloads backed by VXLAN or VLAN between physically separated locations. Specifically for Service Providers L2 VPN provides a mechanism to on-board tenants without modifying IP addresses for VM workloads.

In this post I am only going to go through IPsec VPN configuration…feel there is a whole separate post required to do L2 VPN justice. The biggest difference between an NSX and vShield Edge when looking to configure VPNs is that when you are managing a vShield Edge you will not see the options to configure L2 VPN as shown in the configuration example below.

Configuring IPsec VPN From Web Client:

Configuration Items Required:

  • Local Endpoint
  • Local Subnets
  • Peer Endpoint
  • Peer Subnets
  • Encryption Algorithm and Authentication mechanism
  • Pre Shared Key
  • Diffie-Hellman Group

Double Click on the Edge under the NSX Edge Menu Option in Networking and Security, In the VPN Tab under Configuration click on Enable next to IPsec VPN Service Status and then hit Publish Changes


To create a new Tunnel, click on + and enter in the details collected as per the items listed above.


Click ok and then Publish the Changes…from there the Status should show a green tick. Once the other side has been configured check to see that the Tunnel(s) are up by clicking on Show IPsec Statistics.

If both sides are happy you should be able to talk between the configured subnets. Shown below you see an example of a Site to Site with One Tunnel configured up…and one down.


Configuring IPsec VPN From vCloud Director UI:

For vShield Edges managed via vCloud Director, head to the vCD UI and under Administration and the Edge Gateways. Right Click on the Edge and Configure Services. Under the VPN Tab you first want to Enable VPN and Configure the Public IPs.


Enter in the Public IP as shown above and click ok.

Click on Add and enter in the details collected. For Site to Site VPNs drop down the Establish VPN to: dropdown to a remote network and configure the rest of the settings.


Once done, you should see the Enabled and Status Column with green ticks.


A nice addition to the vCD UI (sometimes the UI team gets things right) is the Peer Settings Button which shows you the bits required to configure the other end of the connection.


Enabling/Disabling/Viewing IPsec With REST API:

Below are the key API commands to configure and manage IPsec VPN.