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VMware NSX Notes - Components of NSX
By Pranay Jha | May 27, 2019 | In Articles | Update: May 28, 2019 | Total Views [ 1824 ]
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Management Plane

NSX Manager

-        As many vCenter you have, need to deploy that number of NSX Manager.

-        Provides management capabilities

-        Associates NSX with vCenter Server

-        Gives an User Interface to manage and configure NSX environment

Control Plane

NSX Controller

-        Embedded in NSX Manager

-        Deploy from NSX Manager

-        Minimum and Maximum 3 NSX Controller per NSX Manager

-        It helps us in routing and switching

-        It maintains 4 different tables.

  • 3 table related to switching
  • 1 table related to routing

-        3 tables it maintains related to switching is;

  • MAC table
  • ARP table
  • VTEP table

MAC Table

-        Keeps MAC address of VMs.

-        W1 is a virtual machine which has an adaptor. And this virtual machine will power on this host.

-        Host has netcpad.

-        Netcpad will tell controller that this VM has powered on to this host.

-        Same will be for other virtual machines as well.

ARP Table

-        When you know IP address but not name.

-        Address resolution protocol.

-        Keeps IP of Virtual machine.

VTEP Table

-        Keeps VTEP information of ESXi host.

-        VMK port information of VTEP interface.

When do we need NSX Controller?

Underlay network devices that you have, are they supporting multicast protocol?

1st Factor - TOR, Spine, and Physical router, does they support multicasting. If not, then you need NSX Controller.

2nd Factor - Is the underlay topology support multicast or not? If not, then NSX controller is required.

3rd Factor – Do you want to use Distributed Logical Router (DLR)? If yes, then you need NSX controller.

4th Factor - If you want to define Software defined L2 bridging, then you need NSX controller.

If your physical topology in underlay network, if all devices does support multicast IP address to do one to many communications, they you may NOT require NSX controller.

As a best practice, we should always deploy NSX Controller.

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Pranay Jha
Pranay Jha
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Thank you for visiting my profile. I am Pranay Jha, bring along a total of 11+ years of extensive experience with me in Information Technology sector for organizations from small business to large enterprises, wherein my current assignment I am associated with IBM as a Technical Solution Architect for Virtualization platform. I am vExpert x 3 (16/17/18), VCIX-DCV, VCAP5/6-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCP7-CMA, VCP5/6-DCV, VCA-DCV, VCA-Cloud, VSP, VCE-CIA, MCITP, MCSE, MCSA(Messaging). I am also an Independent blogger and founder of and I can be reached via email at or Direct Message via Contact Us form.

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