Learn about the main components of an NSX implementation, as well as what each one does and how they fit together to create the whole SDN.
- [Instructor] As I said earlier, when we talk about architecture, we're talking about how something is built. If you think about how NSX is built, it's actually built in three planes. A lot of software is like that. It's really just a software package, but in order to really understand it, you think about it as in different planes. And the three different planes that most software is built on and that NSX is as well, are the management plane, the control plane and the data plane. So let's take a look at some of the components that are in each of these planes.
The data plane consists primarily of two components, the vSphere Distributed Switch, and the host with the new modules. These modules are for VXLAN, for distributed logical router, and for firewall. In other words, it's the host that I had before in my vSphere environment, and I just smarten them up by installing these vSphere infrastructure bundles, which give them these new modules, this new software.
The vSphere Distributed Switch and the hosts with these new modules, make up the data plane. Also, in the data plane is the NSX Edge, as we said before, the Edge allows for north south traffic, traffic coming from and going to the Software Defined Network. The Edge really exists in the data plane and in the control plane, it's kind of on the edge and that's why it's called that. At the control plane, we have the NSX Controller Cluster.
The NSX Controller Cluster consists of three virtual machines that are in a special cluster. And why three? Well, it uses an algorithm called the paxos algorithm, and you don't have to know all about the paxos algorithm, but just know this, that the paxos algorithm works best with odd entities, odd numbers of entities. So one's odd, but one doesn't make much of a cluster, no redundancy.
Two is even. Three is odd, we'll come back to that. Four is even, so that's no good. And five is odd again, but that's overkill, so therefore we always end up with three virtual machines in an NSX Controller Cluster. The NSX Controller Cluster keeps up with the runtime state of NSX. If you were to think of what we're building as like a layer two, layer three switch, well then it would have tables for things like Mac addresses and IP addresses.
We'll discuss all the different tables that are in the NSX Controller Cluster, but the NSX Controller Cluster's kind of the brains, the runtime state of NSX, and it's the main component in the control plane. Another component in the control plane is the Logical Router Control VM. Logical Router Control VM is sort of the side kick for the distributed logical router. It does all those things that a router does that aren't technically routing. Routing is moving packets from one broadcast domain to another.
So you might say, "What else does a router do, Bill? It's just that's all it does." No, routers negotiate routing protocols, they talk to other routers and find what networks are available. So all those things that a router does that aren't technically routing, the NSX Logical Router Control VM does, he's sort of the side kick for the distributed logical router. Also at the control plan is the User World Agent. This is a communication component that since it's sitting at the control plane, it's the communication component from the management plane to the data plane.
I'm sitting on my web client and it's connected to NSX Manager and the vCenter Server and I'm issuing commands and I'm building the environment or making a new logical switch, all that communication information that is coming from the management plane into the data plane, to change things in the data plane, is coming through the User World Agent. At the management plane there is a communication component called the Message Bus Agent, and that's the communication component at the management plane that connects to the User World Agent, which then provides for communication down to the data plane.
Also at the management plane, is the NSX Manager and the vCenter Server, these are always one to one. Now let's take a look at what these components actually look like in the software. You can open up this if you have your own system or if you want to use hol.vmware.com, you can open up the software and take a look at this as well. I just want to point out a couple of things. As we go further into this course, we'll look at these components in even greater detail, but right now I just want to point out a couple of things that we talked about.
First of all, NSX Manager. I'm going to click on Admin up here and then I'm going to go to NSX Manager 01A. As you can see, I've opened up NSX Manager and if I click on View Summary, I can look at the NSX Manager Virtual Appliance and I can see that he has CPU memory, storage that he's running. The NSX Manager Virtual Appliance is already installed and running in this environment. Also, I'm going to click on vCenter Region A and I'm going to point out the vCenter Server.
So I'm just going to double click here at Home, I'm going to click on Host and Clusters, then you'll see there's the vCenter Object. So we've got this vCenter, this V-C-S-A, vCenter Appliance that is in one to one relationship with the NSX Manager. Those are the main two components at the management plane. What about the control plane? Well, I'm going to click back on Home and then I'm going to double click on Networking and Security.
As you'll remember I said that the main component at the control plane was the controllers. Easiest way to see those is to click on Installation and then on the Management Tab, you'll see there's the NSX Controller Nodes. Again we'll talk a lot more about what all of this does and how it all works together, but I just want to point out that these are the components that we were talking about on that slide. So those are the controllers.
Then at the data plane, if you'll remember, it consisted of the vSphere Distributed Switch and the hosts. So now let's go back to Home, go to Hosts and Clusters to see the Hosts. There's all the different hosts that are in my environment, that I'm going to be using for demonstration. Then let's go to Networking View and these are vSphere Distributed Switches, Region A01-VDS-COMP is a compute vSphere Distributed Switch.
Then we have a management vSphere Distributed Switch. Again, we're going to be looking at these closer later on, but for now just wanted to point them out. So those are all the different components that exist on each of the planes, that make up the architecture of NSX.
- VCP6-NV certification requirements
- Technology and architecture
- Physical infrastructure
- Installation and upgrading
- Virtual network configuration
- Network services
- Network security administration
- Operational tasks in a VMware NSX environment
- VMware network virtualization troubleshooting