Answer

Can a VMware NSX network assist an administrator with a loop issue?

Since VMware NSX takes the intelligence of the physical switching infrastructure and brings it down to the hypervisor layer, how does NSX handle [spanning tree] loops that might occur on the physical side?

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"For the network [administrators] that are responsible for managing the physical layer in terms of the data packets, [NSX] can give complete visibility to what's happening in there," said Ravi Kagalavadi, principal system engineer of network virtualization at VMware.

Kagalavadi took this question during his "Introducing VMware NSX Network Virtualization" keynote at the Virtual Technology Users Group (VTUG) Fall Forward 2013 event.

"It's very easy for [NSX] to troubleshoot any network loops in there. [NSX has] the end-to-end view and can look at where the packets are across multiple hypervisors that are inside the data center or outside the data center," he said.

Part of the attraction of NSX for administrators is the ability to customize the network environment for changing workloads and bypass the rigid setup of a traditional spanning tree network. The visibility touted by NSX would theoretically allow an administrator to see congestion problems, or link failures and route network traffic away from trouble spots.

"For the lower-level stuff, the networking [administrators] are still responsible for managing the physical network in terms [of] how to build them out. [NSX provides] visibility at the higher level to manage it," Kagalavadi said.

This was first published in October 2013

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