VMware NSX Use Cases Beyond Micro-Segmentation

Andrew Roush

When a company chooses to deploy VMware NSX in their environment, the most common use case is for protection between servers on the same LAN, also known as micro-segmentation. By isolating virtual machines individually, one can greatly reduce the threat vector should the LAN be compromised by vulnerabilities or breaches from outside the firewall. NSX will even perform some of the more routine network tasks such as routing, NAT, or DHCP. However, NSX extends beyond the bounds of micro-segmentation and general networking in keys areas of automation, cloud-native, and multi-site connectivity.

Automation Goals

Automation has been a key design goal during the development of many software-defined products, and NSX is no different. VMware NSX is a fully software-defined solution that is configurable and manageable using a programmable REST API architecture. Network and security functions are virtualized, which enables faster deployment through automation by reducing manual, error-prone tasks. By implementing NSX, the network can now move at the speed of the business by enabling the complete lifecycle automation of applications. An example for this would be the concept of bursting, where an online store could automatically scale up capacity during peak shopping times and then scale back to save on resource costs.

Working in the Cloud

While the journey to the cloud has been progressing much slower than hosting providers would like, the pace has steadily risen over the last few years and looking at the path forward, adoption could scale exponentially. We are at a point in time where applications are now being developed in the cloud, also known as cloud-native, instead of being migrated into, and tweaked to work in, the cloud. NSX has robust support for all the major cloud providers, AWS, Azure, and Google, so that customers can take NSX policies that are running on-premises and apply them to native cloud workloads. This provides peace of mind to the business stakeholders, as they know IT can enforce consistency and compliance across all workloads, no matter the location.

Related: Unlocking the Top 3 Benefits of Hybrid Cloud

A Hybrid Solution 

Many large enterprise customers who start out with the basic use case of micro-segmentation come to realize, quite quickly, how versatile NSX truly is, especially when it comes to connecting multiple sites together into a single, unified network topology. NSX provides the ability to extend on-premises data center functionality to other physical sites and the cloud. Applications and workloads can then be moved seamlessly and securely by preserving the VM’s network and security configuration. Utilizing NSX workload mobility between separate data centers—and even the cloud—means network and security configurations can be synchronized across sites, streamlining disaster recovery operations from days to minutes.   

VMware NSX has many advantages outside of micro-segmentation that can help any organization streamline IT operations and security of any workload running in any location.

Andrew is a Senior Systems Engineer at Connection with experience in virtualization and server technology. He holds VCP 4/5/6, CCNA-DC, CCNP-DC, and ITIL professional certifications. In his free time, Andrew enjoys golfing, jet skiing, and watching movies.