VMware NSX Overview

VMware NSX is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Network Virtualization tools. It is most often compared to Cisco ACI: VMware NSX vs Cisco ACI

What is VMware NSX?
VMware NSX is the network virtualization platform for the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). By bringing the operational model of a virtual machine to your data center network, you can transform the economics of network and security operations. NSX lets you treat your physical network as a pool of transport capacity, with network and security services attached to VMs with a policy-driven approach.

VMware NSX is also known as VMware Nicira.

VMware NSX Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware NSX Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

VMware NSX Customers
City of Avondale, Lumeta, Kroll Ontrack, Heartland Payment Systems, Baystate Heallth, Exostar, Tribune Media, iGATE, NTT Communications, Synergent, California Natural Resources Agency, Bloomington Public Schools, Columbia Sportswear, Join Experience S.A, Schuberg Philis
VMware NSX Video

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DS
VMware NSX Specialist at Tivit
Real User
It provides visibility, because on our environment, it's impossible mapping end to end

What is our primary use case?

Deployment Planning and designing Troubleshooting sustain.

How has it helped my organization?

Faster delivery of VMs Providing NAT Firewall rules Balance Connectivity between physical and virtual environments.

What is most valuable?

Visibility, because on our environment, it's impossible mapping end to end, and we don't have any tools that provide this integration.

What needs improvement?

vRNI Improve integration with many third-party solutions, because only Palo Alto and Check Point, and VMware would be like improve this integration with other vendors.
CK
Dept. Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Prolonged hardware refresh and cloud infrastructure gives us many advantages

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution in our private clouds networking environment. We have some subsidiaries that we service and are trying to isolate each of them in this network.

Pros and Cons

  • "Their technical support is very good. They help us figure out solutions when we have problems."
  • "The initial establishment can be complex."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine because we maximize most of its features. We have many advantages with the cloud infrastructure. I would tell someone looking into this solution to go for it. At first, it may seem to be complex but using it will make it easier to manage jobs. Yes, its initial establishment can be complex but you will see its advantages later on.
Learn what your peers think about VMware NSX. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
501,151 professionals have used our research since 2012.
TS
Technology Manager
Real User
easy set up and enables us to build one fabric over an IP transport

What is our primary use case?

Our customers had multiple data centers in different locations. Now, with NSX we built one fabric over an IP transport, like WAN internet. When we created the switches, it spread out over the data centers which are the configuration and the management of the underlying network for the VM workloads.

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was straightforward. It follows a certain structure and you won't miss a step. It's all on the same level, step by step."
  • "I would like them to make integration with other vendors easier."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight because of its ease of deployment. I'm a partner so this is what I mostly care about. Also because of the ease of scalability. If you're looking into NSX or similar solutions I would recommend you to first learn about vSphere and other VMware products because it's essential in order to implement NSX. Without that knowledge, it would be hard for you to understand. And to those who think NSX is complex I would say it's not. You need to try it and see.
PD
EMEA Infrastructure Manager at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It's a complex solution but not as much for the key user

What is our primary use case?

We just introduced NSX in our headquarters. We have it running in some labs, but no real experiences. We've been using it for six months. Our objective is to know each features component and how it works. Depending on the business requirements, we would adapt the solution as needed. This is the reason why we work a lot from the maps and then anticipate when we need a new feature for our company.

What is most valuable?

We like that NSX is integrated with everything.  The load balancing is a real major opportunity for us. As a CIO, we have 99.9% network security. We would like to optimize this product.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The feedback we're getting from the…
AM
Solutions Architect at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Allows us to create very specific segments for each part of the company and the microsegmentation feature is easy to use

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for extended on-premise capabilities. We've been using it for five years.

Pros and Cons

  • "You can easily integrate this with other VMware products. It is a robust solution."
  • "If you're worried that NSX is too complex, I would tell you to take another look. If you compare NSX to a similar solution you might find it to be a bit more complex. Usually, the guy that comes in to implement NSX isn't the network guy and will lack the knowledge for the program. He can lack the knowledge for this program and will therefore think it's complex. You need somebody with network experience."

What other advice do I have?

I rated this solution a nine because it's easy to use. It has a lot of capabilities, like microsegmentation, which is very good. If you're worried that NSX is too complex, I would tell you to take another look. If you compare NSX to a similar solution you might find it to be a bit more complex. Usually, the guy that comes in to implement NSX isn't the network guy and will lack the knowledge for the program. He can lack the knowledge for this program and will therefore think it's complex. You need somebody with network experience.
MW
Lead at Accenture
Real User
We can do a lot of things without waiting for the purchase of additional devices, such as setting up VRF on physical devices

What is our primary use case?

We support clients who use on-premise VMware NSX. We provide daily maintenance and support for this solution.

Pros and Cons

  • "The firewall is its most valuable feature."
  • "We would like tenant segmentation available in future releases."

What other advice do I have?

PoC the platform before you test it. It is not so bad. We are using the VVD implementation. It is implemented together with the vRA, vROps, and other solutions.
SA
System Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
It is robust and easy to implement

What is our primary use case?

We use it for microsegmentation, and it has performed well.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to implement it."
  • "If there are other solutions already in place, it can be difficult to implement."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend it to another person. We do not integrate it with vCloud Director. I don't use load balancer at the moment.
AL
Information Security Manager at Anana LTD
Real User
We have saved man-hours and decreased our security exposure

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is the microsegmentation of all our infrastructure, which is a huge bonus. It's performed well.

Pros and Cons

  • "The microsegmentation allows me to sleep at night. My job is reducing risk, plugging security holes, and working with the automated layer security. Even if somebody spins up a new server, it has to have a tag in NSX."
  • "I would like to have automating reporting built into common service management platforms, such as JIRA, Serviceaide, and ServiceNow."

What other advice do I have?

Get it in your environment as soon as possible. Network segmentation is hard. A lot of businesses still use the traditional three-tier system, because it has been proven, but it isn't particularly robust or secure. Realistically, it's a natural step in terms of network management to move to micro-segmentation. It just makes sense. If someone is worried that the solution is too complex, they should hire people with experience.
Director with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to identify problems before they manifest, but they should develop more advanced features

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is the integration with the platform, so we can use it to orchestrate everything from a single console. That's the magic of having everything in one single dashboard.

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability is great. That's one of the things that we can quantify and leverage through NSX, because it's less complex. We have the availability to manage multiple things at the same time. You can identify problems before they manifest."
  • "The engineering team has room for improvement. They should have have more of a Knowledge Base about different case studies and should develop more advanced features. These kinds of improvements will change the way things get done."

What other advice do I have?

This solution has helped our clients save CapEx. The agility and speed of the implementation offer CapEx savings. It does and doesn't prolong software refresh. It does because there is better integration with the product. It doesn't because there are new features developing and people like to replace their hardware. They will have better chances of getting more value out of their software solutions because now they can reach more control of multiple functionalities. I would approximate that it saves the hardware for around two to three years. I have rated this product a seven because this…
MR
System Administrator
Real User
we can deploy many VMs faster but we have had recent issues with stability

What is our primary use case?

My company's primary use case for this solution is the microsegmentation. It's futuristic.

Pros and Cons

  • "We are happy with the scalability."
  • "It was stable for one year, there was no impact. In the last two months, we had two big incidents."
  • "We've have had good and bad experiences with them. We don't always find them to be so impactful. Sometimes the support guy isn't so on top of resolving the issue and it can take a while to sort out."

What other advice do I have?

I would tell people who say that NSX is complex that it's not as complex as they think and they should definitely consider this solution. I would have rated this solution a nine, but in the last two months, we have had two incidents with them.
ES
Engineer at DataLine - лучшая команда виртуализации VMware 2015
Real User
VPN, PCM, and L7 balancing are key for our customers

What is our primary use case?

Our customers need load balance and firewalls with advanced NSX. They are really happy to use NSX.

Pros and Cons

  • "NSX can reduce costs and has good service. It is easy for you and your users to use."
  • "The scalability is not perfect."
  • "I would rate this product an eight because it's a good product but it needs more work. They should fix some of the bugs."

What other advice do I have?

NSX can reduce costs and has good service. It is easy for you and your users to use. We have integrated this solution with vCloud Director. Without NSX you can't deploy the cloud.
SL
Architect at Computacenter
Real User
NSX offers agility and provides mature microsegmentation

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use cases of this solution are hybrid, cloud, private cloud, and automation.

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was straightforward. You just have to click it and follow the manuals."
  • "The next release of NSX should try to make Kubernetes and container integration a little easier than it is now. It's quite a complicated process."

What other advice do I have?

I would advise a colleague at another company who is researching NSX to know how the technology can answer their customer's business use cases. For those who say NSX is complex, I would agree that it can be complex but you can abstract that complexity through automation and Service Catalogs to make it easier for end-users to consume.
SR
Engineer at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The Organization Of It Is Logical, Useful, And Intuitive

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is microsegmentation for other VMs, which should provide us great value. We are quite early in our use case of it. As for now, the performance is looking good. The main reason for deploying the product was the possibility to isolate machines inside a VLAN from each other. It was also to have a local firewall with firewall profiles attached to the machines.

What is most valuable?

The organization of it is logical, useful, and intuitive. The security part of micro-segmentation is getting more important.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are early in our use of the product, but stability has been good so far.

What do I think about the

PW
VMware Administrator at Ryanair
Real User
Microsegmentation makes our life easier as far as PCI and auditing are concerned

What is our primary use case?

We use it for microsegmentation. We're still in the middle of the project. We have 70 or 80 apps to microsegment and have only done about ten so far. We have a long way to go.

Pros and Cons

  • "The microsegmentation is great, and the security team thinks it is great."
  • "The solution is robust as it covers everything we want to do and is stable, so we're happy enough with it. We have had no problems so far. Everything is great."
  • "The solution is quite complex. You need to keep your thinking cap on and know what you are doing: Go to the training and listen to the solution architects when they come in because they have a lot of knowledge."

What other advice do I have?

If a colleague was to ask me if it was a good idea to go ahead and put it this solution in, I would say, "Straightaway." I wouldn't have any doubts.
MU
System Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
The microsegmentation is a good feature. The first time setting up the product was difficult.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to change from Cisco.

What is most valuable?

It is scalable. The microsegmentation is a good feature. You can segment details, products, or hardware information.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

We haven't used technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The first time setting it up was difficult. After a couple of installations, it should get easier.

What about the implementation team?

We set it up with a partner.

What other advice do I have?

NSX is a good product.
AC
Consultant with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Any administrator with basic networking knowledge using it can be in full control of their networking in a couple of days

What is our primary use case?

Usually customers, from the beginning, want state-of-the-art, latest technologies. They would like to rid themselves of their struggle with networking. This drives them to the next step, bringing in VMware services for implementing NSX.

Pros and Cons

  • "Any administrator with basic networking knowledge, in a couple of days, can be in full control of their networking without going through a networking engineer."
  • "It takes time to do the initial setup. It is a bit slow, which is surprising."

What other advice do I have?

The solution is not complex. Though, you need to have some experience in networking, but just the basics that come when you work in the industry. However, if you've never worked with networking, start at the beginning, then NSX will come along easily. I recommend building your own lab and continue to keep breaking it. Break your own lab, because you'll find weird things. We have not integrated with vCloud Director as our customers are not very eager to work with automation yet.
aucun at None
Real User
Micro-Segmentation helped us secure our organisation. The Distributed Firewall is simple to add and rules are easy to implement

What is our primary use case?

I was an intern at a relatively large company here in Morocco, and NSX is a great solution.

How has it helped my organization?

NSX has improved our organisation in many ways, by securing it with micro-segmentation, and by allowing us to implement logical equipment in a matter of seconds instead of waiting for the physical material to implement and configure.

What is most valuable?

The Distributed Firewall is simple to add to the network and rules are easy to implement on it.

What needs improvement?

It should be more adapted to the physical side of network topology in order to prevent unavailability.

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.
EVS Engineer 3 at Cabela's
Video Review
Vendor
We can add VDI desktops without having to create a new VM and recreate all the policies

Pros and Cons

  • "To be able to do the DR and SRM migrations from datacenter to datacenter, we're able to do them with SRM with VXLAN, with the NSX product."
  • "Just being more knowledgeable about the different functions."

What other advice do I have?

In terms of selecting a vendor, our end goal is to be able to accomplish a certain function that we need to for the business. But also, if we have any trouble, to be able to call and get some support, and work through those issues without, "You bought the product now, so you're on your own." They've been real good about support. It's changed the way we do things. It's made things a lot more easy. Once everything's set up, and you have the collaboration from all the other different groups, it just works. It's going to help me be able to do a lot of the DR stuff that I'm working on with VXLAN…
Cloud Engineer at IBM
Video Review
MSP
We can deliver the network that customers need quickly and safely

What is most valuable?

We can deliver the network that customers need quickly and safely. That is most important.

What needs improvement?

There is one feature I'm finding with VMware which is special for us from IBM with JIRA routing protocols. This is in the future that they are planning, especially right now with our compatible AWS. AWS is good, understood, except for the software to improve, probably with Amazon right now doing this partnership. VMware and access are going to be improved for that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's totally stable, because right now it's running version 6.3. It's very mature. Even the versions with VMware 5.5, 6, and 6.5 are very stable right now. It's becoming more open to other environments, too. It's not only working…
VMware NSX Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Video Review
Real User
Enables us to put our network onto any network there is, we just spin something up whenever we need to

Pros and Cons

  • "NSX gives us the ability to put our network, NSX, onto any network there is, which allows us not to have to go to the network team to create networks our VLANs for networks."
  • "It still needs to grow. There are still some features that it doesn't do, like it doesn't do multicasting."

What other advice do I have?

In terms of criteria for selecting a vendor, it's a little of everything. It's the reputation that they have, but it's also more of the tech support, as well as the documentation that they have, because not everybody in their environment, as well as your own environment, knows everything. So you have to be able to look up stuff and have that knowledge to be able to do it, as well as allow them to do it. They have a lot of good KB articles on what's going on, so if you need a problem solved, you look at that first and you'll be able to find it pretty easily.
Solutions Architect at IronBow Technologies
Video Review
Real User
The distributed nature of it is really what our customers are interested in

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very important for them to have small footprints and have as much services in their servers, as possible."
  • "Going through and getting more features sets from the routing protocols is definitely necessary for the future."

What other advice do I have?

It's very important for us to have good relationships with VMware from a reseller standpoint, and especially in the DoD, we have great reps. VMware is probably a 90% of the DoD networks. It's definitely not just reputation-wise, but they've been there for seven to eight years now and everybody knows that VMware is the enterprise solution for virtualization in the DoD.
DS
Infrastructure Architect
Video Review
Real User
The we can actually extend Layer 2 networking across datacenters, and also Layer 3 networking, which comes along with it

Pros and Cons

  • "The we can actually extend Layer 2 networking across datacenters, and also Layer 3 networking, which comes along with it."
  • "They could branch out to the physical layer."

What other advice do I have?

It's really a great product. It fits all of our needs. Everything that we've asked it to do or asked VMware to help us get done with it, we've been able to do. Therefore, we're very excited about the product.
Network Engineer
Video Review
Real User
It's very scalable and automated

What other advice do I have?

An important reason for selecting was VMware because they're the hypervisor we use and we see them to be a very valuable asset in purchasing something like NSX, and because they're the owner of the hypervisor and they have direct access into the hypervisor. That's very valuable for us. We foresee it being a very reliable product into the future. They developed the hypervisor, which is very valuable to us, because it has saved us a lot of money just on the micro-segmentation piece. That's basically all we use at this point, but the product has more than paid for itself just with that part of…
Senior Solutions Architect at SMP
Video Review
Vendor
Facilitates setting security policies right at the interfacing virtual machine, which we couldn't do in the past

Pros and Cons

  • "It does have capabilities of micro-segmenting a network, being able to create smaller segments of various types of applications separated by various tiers."
  • "I think that one of the more important things to see better integrated into the NSX product would be an IDS/IPS type solution."

What other advice do I have?

I always have a hard time giving a ten to anything. I think everything needs improvement. So that's why I would give it a solid eight out of 10.
IT Support Specialist at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Scalable; takes care of our whole environment

What other advice do I have?

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * They have to be able to support the environment you're running. * The service and support is a big must. We work at an Enterprise level, so sometimes you can't go with the little new guy. You need that 24 hour service and support, seven days a week. It is very important for us.
IT Specialist at a tech services company
Consultant
Very easy to use out-of-the-box and doesn't have a steep learning curve

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to scale from different clouds. At the moment, the scalability of the product is the number one thing that I saw."

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a solid product. Very easy to use out-of-the-box. It didn't have a steep learning curve, and we're still finding things that we can add-on. I would encourage anyone looking to buy the solution to demo it in a lab, or come to a conference and see it. They should see how it would fit in their environment, and don't be overwhelmed or overworked by adding another solution because the results pays off. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: * Price * Security * Meeting the application requirements. * Technical support.
    Senior Technical Consultant at The Instillery
    Real User
    Provides Microsegmentation And Good Security Features For North-South And East-West Traffic Across Your SDDC

    What other advice do I have?

    Download the installer, try it, and you will love it. Some hardcore network administrators will say it is not the same, and of course is not the same, but it is a new way to do things in the network space. It is the way of the future when deploying large networks in Software Defined Data Centres.
    Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    I Liked Distributed Logical Switching, Distributed Logical Router and Distributed Firewall the most.

    What is most valuable?

    I have worked on NSX for the last couple of months and I Liked Distributed Logical Switching, Distributed Logical Router and Distributed Firewall the most.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have deployed it in a virtual environment and it saved a lot of time and effort for us to configure.

    What needs improvement?

    Speed of the NSX Controllers while deploying sometimes gets a bit slower which can be improved, overall its a great product

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Last few months.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Practice Manager - Cloud, Automation & DevOps at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    NSX for vSphere vs. NSX Multi-Hypervisor
    Originally posted at vcdx133.com. This post provides a Tech101 breakdown of VMware NSX. If you have heard the buzz-word “NSX” or “Network Virtualisation” and want to learn more about it, this post is for you. VMware NSX has two distinct variants – NSX for vSphere (NSX-v) and NSX Multi-Hypervisor (NSX-MH). The most feature rich version is NSX-v (as you would expect) and the most flexible and vendor agnostic is NSX-MH (albeit with less features). Currently these are separate binaries that you download and deploy, however there is talk that in the future it will be a single binary set with a V/MH software setting during deployment. A little bit of history will also clarify things. VMware acquired Nicira in 2012 and integrated/developed the NSX product suite by combining VMware’s…