The continuing demand for data centres with better security, flexibility and performance has brought about the concept of the Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC). The technology that has driven this forward in the IaaS world is network virtualisation. And, when it comes to VMware cloud hosting, VMware’s own answer to this is NSX - but what is it, exactly?
What VMware NSX does
VMware NSX is a type of network virtualisation technology that replaces VMware vShield and operates as a “network hypervisor”, providing a platform for virtual networking and security services. This means that multiple virtual networks can be created and managed independently of hardware.
Since NSX allows networks to be built using software, rather than physical hardware, data centre providers are able to offer unparalleled levels of configuration, adaptability, agility and security.
Key benefits of VMware NSX
NSX offers different network types, such as Isolated Internal and Routed Internal, DHCP, NAT and basic VPN. The advanced network configuration that NSX can bring provides businesses increased security, automation and enhanced mobility, as discussed below.
1. Increased security
According to Gartner, in just three years, “60% of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk”. VMware’s NSX alleviates this risk (or at least significantly reduces it) by removing your applications from physical hardware and placing them in a virtual network. Therefore, functions that once were only possible using physical infrastructure, such as switching, routing, load balancing and creating firewalls, can be moved to the hypervisor.
The separation of network functions from physical hardware allows security policies to be placed around individual workloads. It’s this micro-segmentation that enables the protection of each VM and defends against attacks that move laterally within a data centre.
IT applications that are managed manually have a wide margin for error, not to mention require a lot of time and labour. VMware NSX automates this process by allowing organisations to create blueprints of their infrastructure templates. What’s more, the security policies placed around individual workloads can be adapted and automated without any manual intervention; meaning information is protected automatically.
3. Enhanced mobility
The ability to create virtual and requirement specific networks means that businesses can access and move applications and workloads easily to other data centres and the public cloud, regardless of their geographical location. This is particularly useful for disaster recovery, as the network can be synchronised rapidly to a recovery site without having to go through the process of IP configuration or replication of security policies.
To summarise, VMware NSX is a type of network virtualisation technology that allows data centre providers to create virtual replicas of networks. This opens up a new dimension of VMware cloud hosting by allowing organisations the freedom to access and move their workloads wherever they want with the peace of mind that it is always protected.