NSX … A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Title a bit obvious perhaps, but I think very appropriate.

It has been a while now that I have been looking for the right way to start a series of articles on NSX, every time I find an inspiration I realize that there is always something before it should be explained and told. It’s a bit like taking something apart to understand how it works… you stop only when you have removed the last screw and you have on the table dozens of small pieces 🙂  The same thing is true for NSX, where do you start to understand and take ownership of this technology? What do you need to know first? What are the basic building blocks that make up NSX?

Let’s start with these simple questions to chart a roadmap that I hope will help those approaching NSX.

What is NSX?
Why not ask vmware directly? This is the link where to go to look around :

VMware NSX Data Center

It is certainly an overview page, but for this reason it has been designed to highlight the strengths of NSX:

– Agility Through Automation
– Consistent Multi-Cloud Operations
– Intrinsic security
– Save on Both CapEx and OpEx

Ok, the last one is very commercial … but you will understand that it is the consequence of consolidating network and security functions into a single distributed virtualization platform!

Probably someone was expecting definitions like SDN or similar, surprised to find topics like multi-cloud and automation?

And here we go a little more in detail:


In the datasheet we find the key features and a table of functionalities divided by license type


NOTE: many Companies choose NSX mainly for micro-segmentation … attention that Distributed Firewalling is included only starting from Professional!

But it is not over yet … there are some aspects that need to be explored before jumping into the first installation!

We find clear guidance right in the ICM course( Install, Configure and Manage ) of NSX Data Center :


Solid understanding of concepts presented in the following courses:
VMware Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals
VMware Introduction to Network Virtualization with NSX
VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals
Network and Security Architecture with NSX ( I added this one 🙂 )

These are all free courses that you can access with a basic subscription to vmware learning zone!

– Good understanding of TCP/IP services and network security and working experience with firewalls
– Working experience of enterprise switching and routing

These last two points are perhaps the most challenging for those who have no networking experience but if you have read this far you probably don’t lack interest!

NSX is a complete and complex product and a few quick reads are not enough to understand it in depth.

In my experience I can say that working on Linux environments and networking courses (CCNA like) can make learning NSX easier.

I leave you all these hints and see you at the next article!

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