NSX-T Edge VM Design - Multiple N-VDS Edge VM on N-VDS with 2 pNICs

In a small Data Center, it's common to find clusters with management components such as vCenter, NSX Manager, vRealize Automation, vRealize Network Insight, vRealize Log Insight, and so on. This is what we called a "Shared" Management and Compute cluster. Edge VMs can be deployed in a shared cluster.

In the following diagram, the hosts are ESXi based and they have only 2 pNICs available on each.

I use the following VLAN information in my setup for the Edge VM configuration.
  • Management VLAN: 599
  • vMotion VLAN: 598
  • TEP VLAN for Compute: 596
  • TEP VLAN for Edge VM: 595
  • Uplink1 VLAN for Edge VM: 10
  • Uplink2 VLAN for Edge VM: 20

N-VDS Edge VM Diagram

We are going to configure the "Multiple N-VDS Edge VM Design on N-VDS with two (2) pNICs".
This design is required for NSX-T 2.4 release and below.

Compute Configuration

  • The host has only two (2) pNICs available
  • A N-VDS for the host is already deployed "HOST-NVDS"
  • Both pNICs are used for redundancy and load balancing depending the type of traffic
  • A TEP dedicated IP pool and VLAN are defined for Compute 
  • The compute's Uplink Profile has the teaming policies (This is an example, you can adjust them)
    • Load Balance for Overlay traffic
    • Failover for Management traffic (Primary U1, Standby U2)
    • Failover for Edge TEP traffic(Primary U1, Standby U2)
    • Failover for Edge Uplink1 traffic (Primary U1, Standby U2)
    • Failover for Edge Uplink2 traffic (Primary U2, Standby U1)
  • Management, Edge TEP, Uplink and Uplink2 Segments are defined for Edge VM connectivity

Edge VM Configuration

  • An Edge VM has four (4) interfaces available
    • eth0 is dedicated to management traffic
    • fp-eth0 used for overlay traffic
    • fp-eth1 used for uplink1 traffic
    • fp-eth2 used for uplink2 traffic
  • Three (3) N-VDS will be defined for the Edge VM
    • The same "HOST-NVDS" is used for the Overlay traffic - because Edge VM and compute are sharing the same Transport Zone for the overlay traffic, they have to share the same N-VDS
    • A dedicated N-VDS for the Edge VM uplink1 "Edge-Uplink1-NVDS"
    • A dedicated N-VDS for the Edge VM uplink2 "Edge-Uplink1-NVDS"
  •  A TEP dedicated IP pool and VLAN are defined for Edge VM
  • Because we use dedicated Edge VM interface, the teaming policy is the same for all traffic:
    • Failover for TEP traffic(Primary U1, Standby None)
    • Failover for Uplink1 traffic (Primary U1, Standby None)
    • Failover for Uplink2 traffic (Primary U2, Standby None)
 The following diagram shows the details described above.



Step 1 - Transport Zones  and N-VDS

Three (3) N-VDS are created for this design:

Step 2 - Uplink Profiles

Three (3) uplink profiles are created:
  • Shared-Compute-2pNICs-2.4 for the Compute (or Transport Node)
  • Cluster-Edge-1pNIC-TEP for Edge VM Overlay interface
  • Cluster-Edge-1pNIC-Uplink for both Edge VM uplink interfaces
Note:  I added teaming policy names in the Shared-Overlay-TZ Transport Zone. This is required for Step 4 in order to do some "traffic engineering"

Step 3 - Segment Creation

Here is the list of required segments for this setup.

Step 4 - Override the default teaming policy with named teaming policy in the Advanced UI

For this step, you have to go to the Advanced UI on NSX manager and under the Switching section.

Step 5 - Edge VM deployment

You have to deploy the Edge VM via vCenter because the Management segment will not show up during the Edge VM installation wizard through NSX Manager (this feature wil be added in the next NSX-T releases). Select NSX-T segments created in step 3.

To add the Edge VM in NSX Manager, follow the process described in this link:  https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-T-Data-Center/2.5/migration/GUID-8CC9049F-F2D3-4558-8636-1211A251DB4E.html

 Steps 6 and 7 - Compute and Edge VM N-VDS Deployment

When the Edge VM is available in the NSX Manager simplify UI, you can now configure N-VDS to finalize the Edge VM configuration. The Compute N-VDS has to be configured before.


The following picture shows two (2) Edge VMs deployed with success. Each Edge VM has three (3) N-VDS as mentioned above.

You can ping these Edge VMs from the Transport Node with the "vmkping ++netstack=vxlan" command.

Enjoy your new NSX setup !