Release: NSX SDN-LAB v3.5 with advanced designs, vRealize Log + Network Insight and more.

Refresher: NSX SDN-LAB is a fully virtualized and nested lab running on VMware’s internal cloud. This lab is architected and developed by Hany Michael – Senior Staff Architect in the Networking & Security Business Unit @ VMware. If you are a VMware employee, you have an instant access to this lab as a virtual pod which could be deployed as an independent and dedicated instance from the OneCloud portal. If you are a VMware customer or a partner and would like to have an access to the lab, you can contact your account team for further guidance. This lab is vendor neutral and any of its third-party vendors listed could be replaced if required. This architecture could be used also to illustrate some of VMware’s networking and security solutions and capabilities. All the information included in this architecture reflects the exact design and configuration of the NSX SDN-LAB including but not limited to: designs, product releases, hostnames, IP addresses and so forth. The lab is also designed to be modular and could be scaled to include more sites, network, servers and/or storage resources. The future development of this lab will be based on “add-ons” to introduce other networking technologies (like MPLS), topologies (like Service-Provider models) or external clouds (like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google CPE just to name a few).


It’s been a while.

As a VMworld 2016 special, I would like to announce publicly the new NSX SDN-LAB (formerly NSX vLAB) release v3.5. There have been multiple internal releases of this lab on OneCloud but this one represents the latest and greatest from NSX. I have also developed a brand new architecture for the lab to show a holistic and detailed views of all the components together in a whopping A0 scale diagram — this is literally the largest diagram I have ever architected on Visio.

The Lab Architecture


What’s News

Here is a quick list of what is new since the last release:


  • vSphere upgraded to 6.0U2
  • NSX upgraded to v6.2.4
  • vRealize Automation upgraded to v7.1 with NSX vRO Plugin 1.0.4
  • vCloud Director upgraded to 8.1

New Products:

  • vRealize Operations 6.2 with NSX Management Pack.
  • vReaize Log Insight 3.6 with NSX Content Pack.
  • vRealize Network Insight 3.0 (this is officially the new NSX monitoring and operations tool – more on this in future posts).

New Vendors:

  • Arista vEOS joins the club in a Top-of-Rack leaf architecture.

New Designs:

  • A new mutli-uplink / multi-rack Edge design introduced in this lab. This has been one of the most difficult subjects to understand from the NSX design guides and presentations, so I included it in a (hopefully) clear and practical way. As usual, the design in the above diagram reflects the actual and exact configuration in the lab include hostnames, ip addresses, OSPF areas, etc.
  • The lab introduces also another UDLR with no local-agress configuration to show an Active/Passive design. All the VMware management products are still abstracted over a universal VXLANs as part of the other UDLR with Local-Egress.

New Integrations

  • With the inclusion of Arista vEOS, you can now integrat NSX with Arista as a ToR hardware VTEP.
  • NSX now leverages the new vRA 7.1 ReservationPolicyID to allow end-users to provision workloads on universal-logical-switches with the datacenter of thier choice using one single Converged-Blueprint.
  • vRealize Network Insight running in full-feature mode and collecting data from: Cisco CSRs, Arista vEOS (SSH + SNPM), and NSX Managers / Controllers (SSH + Central CLI), and all vDSs (with NetFlow).

Lab Configurations on GitHub:



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