VMware NSX Review

Feature rich, distributing routing useful, but expensive

What is our primary use case?

Have used this solution to implement PAS (PCF) and have also used it for Native Datacenter networking as part of DC refresh.

How has it helped my organization?

Have worked on multiple organizations with VMware NSX. It heavily depends on the use case of the solution and how well you are able to use all the features of the product. When using for K8s container platforms or a networking backed for on premises cloud using a CMP(VRA, VIO) then VMware NSX is the best SDN solution but If an organization is not able to use NSX to its full potential (Switching, Routing, Load-balancing, Firewall, IDS, IPS etc.) then its not worth it.

What is most valuable?

Logical routing, switching are  overall good feature of this SDN solution especially when using CMP's and distributed firewall is very attractive features for micro-segmentation.

What needs improvement?

In rare situation there are  mismatch in the control plane data and dataplane data i.e. the details and what you actually see on the transport note. This is rare but time consuming to troubleshoot . Additionally, there could be better integration between VMware Cloud Federation (VCF) and NSX-T. Currently, there are some limitations, for example, VCF allows just one overlay transport zone. Also there is not upgrade path from VCF 3(NSX-T 2.5.x) to VCF 4 (NSX-T 3.x)

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good and is getter better after each new release.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. In the 2.4 version, the controller got merged to create the cluster manager, it now is even better.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was pretty good, but recently I have had quite a few bad experiences with the support. But that really depends on the account and geographic location and multiple other factors

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have using Cisco ACI  and it is a strong competitor. When you are not using NSX NCP then everything that you need from SDN prospective can be done in Cisco ACI except for the distributed firewall at the vnic level.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation feels at first a little complex because there are a lot of components, but when you get the understanding after a short time, it is fine.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I was not involved in the purchase of the solution but I hear it is on the expensive side. That is why quite a few companies are moving towards open source because there are multiple solutions such as NginX, that can do the load balancing, and Calico and Flannel can do your logical switching routing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If there is already VMware environment then it makes sense to use NSX-V, NSX-T as it can be integrated with other VMware automation products. But if approach it towards opensource then other SDN solutions like flannel, Nginx etc. can be evaluated depending on the use case.

What other advice do I have?

If you are wanting to implement this solution I would advise if your project supports it then definitely. You should have a solid use case, the solution is rich in feature sets and you should use all of them. Then only is it worth the money, if you are just buying it for your logical switching and routing, then it is not worth it.

I rate VMware NSX a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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