NSX vCloud Retrofit: Logical Network Preparation and Transport Zone Setup

This blog series extends my NSX Bytes Blog Posts to include a more detailed look at how to deploy NSX 6.1.x into an existing vCloud Director Environment. Initially we will be working with vCD 5.5.x which is the non SP Fork of vCD, but as soon as an upgrade path for 5.5.2 -> 5.6.x is released I’ll be including the NSX related improvements in that release.

Part 4: Logical Network Preparation and Transport Zone Setup

In the previous posts we have gone through the process to upgrade the vCNS Manager to the NSX Manager…Configured the NSX Manager so it to talk to vCenter…verified that vCD 5.5 can still deploy/manage traditional vShield Edges and gone through deploying the NSX modules onto ESXi hosts and configure VTEPs for VXLAN transport.

We are now going to prepare for NSX Logical Networks and configure our Transport Zones which define the boundaries of our VXLAN domains. Recently @dkalintsev has released a series of excellent blog posts relating to NSX…the latest goes through Transport Zones in super deep dive detail. If you are not following Dimitri and you are interested in NSX…NIKE!

If you are used to vCloud Director then you know about Provider vDCs and what part they play in abstracting pools of resources for vCD VMs to be consumed via Virtual Datacenters. In it’s simplest form you can think of a PvDC as a NSX Transport Zone and that there is a one to one relationship between the two. With vCD 5.1 the concept of Merging PvDCs first appeared which relied on the vCNS implementation of VXLAN using multicast as a control plane…this opened up the possibility to having vDCs spanning different compute pool resources, possibly in different physical locations. With the NSX Controllers now handling the control plane we can use Unicast and much more easily utilise the Merged PvDCs feature of vCD…using Transport Zones as our network boundaries.

Segment ID Config:

In the Networking & Security Menu go to Installation -> Logical Network Preparation. Under VXLAN you should see the previously configured Cluster and Host details relating to the setting up of the VXLAN Transport Network on each host.

Go to the Segment ID tab and Click on Edit. This is where we are going to configure the scope of the VXLAN Segments that are created. In retrofitting this with vCloud, Segment IDs will be consumed by VXLAN Network Pools in vCD…which in turn translate to Logical Switches

  • You can have 16 million VXLAN segments
  • You can come back here and adjust the number up or down at any time.
  • As we will be using Unicast, leave the Multicast Addressing option unchecked.

Transport Zone Setup:

Go to the Transport Zones Tab and click Add, Enter in the Cluster Name as the name of the new Transport Zone, Select Unicast and Check the desired vSphere Cluster…as mentioned above you can select multiple Clusters to be included in the Transport Zone…this is how you will extend L3 across Providers.

That’s all the ground work done!

The last post in this series will look at how to bring this all together in vCD and leverage some of the power of NSX for vCloud Director.

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