Category: Software Defined Datacenters

NSX-T Edge Transport Node Packet Capture

NSX-T v3.0.1 and v3.1.3 were used to try the stuff described below

As always with network engineers, even when working with SDN/SSDC solutions, sooner or later you will be asked to troubleshoot connectivity across your hops. And if working with VMware NSX-T platform, your next-hop for the North-South Datacenter traffic will almost always be NSX-T EDGE Transport Node VM. It will be really useful then to be able to get some packet traces out of that box in order to troubleshoot the traffic issues in detail.

One of the examples would be simple routing or some sort of Loadbalancing traffic that seems not to reach the backend hosts behind NSX-T edge.

On the NSX-T EDGE VM it’s fairly simple to capture traffic directly. It’s possible to get the output out on the console or to save it to the file on the EDGE and then pull it out with SCP.

If you have an EDGE Cluster, normally build out of 2 VMs, first, you need to see on which node the T0 or T1 router you want the traffic to be captured is active.

Let’s say we want to capture traffic on “T0-router” shown in the image below. You can go to that T0 router from the UI and check the High Availability Mode output:

NSX-T EDGE VM Active T0

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VMware NSX-T Install Tips & Tricks

UPDATE on 13 Feb 2021:
There were some changes and improvements with version NSX-T 3.1, so some tips are no longer needed. I’m in the process of proving those notes myself, but it seems NSX EDGE VMs can be migrated now and EDGE VTEPs don’t need a separate subnet from HOST VTEPs anymore.

Intro

It’s a shortlist of things that you should probably know when installing VMware NSX-T. Of course, installing NSX-T should be done by following the official documentation. This here is just a few additional points that could help. It’s for your peace of mind afterward.

This is an article from the VMware from Scratch series

NSX Manager is a Cluster of three VMs

You should end up having three NSX-Manager VMs in a cluster when you finish NSX-T installation. The first one will be deployed via .ovf file from vCenter, the other two direct from first NSX Manager GUI as soon as you connect it to vCenter (aka. adding the Fabric -> Compute Manager)

VMware NSX-T Managers cluster

NSX Manager VMs should not run on the same ESXi host

Use vCenter datacenter configuration VM/host rules (affinity rules) to automatically keep manager VMs running on different hosts on the VMware environment. It’s about the host failing and you still having most of the managers running.

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VMware TKGI – Deployment of Harbor Container Registry fails with error

This is an article from the VMware from Scratch series

During the process of preparation to Install Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (TKGI v1.8) on vSphere with NSX-T Data Center (v3.0.2) one of the steps is to use Ops Manager to deploy Harbor Container Registry (in this case v2.1.0).

The process of deployment ended with Harbor error several times so I’m sharing here my solution in order to ease things out for you giving the fact that I didn’t come across any solution googling around.

VMware NSX TKGI K8S

Image from VMware website https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Tanzu-Kubernetes-Grid-Integrated-Edition/index.html

In the process, the Harbor Registry product tile is downloaded from the VMware Tanzu network portal, imported in the Ops Manager installation dashboard, and selected to be configured and prepared for deployment into the VMware environment.

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New ACI deployment? Watch out when connecting APICs to Leafs

It’s one of those articles aimed at the people with Cisco ACI experience who don’t bother with reading all the install and other guides again while going through n’th time of building and ACI fabric, like me. When it comes to Cisco ACI, you really should.

There’s a small change with the physical build of the third generation of APIC server where 10G SFP interfaces from APIC towards the Leaf switches (used for fabric discovery and later for the in-band controller to fabric communication) where 4x10G card is built in the server and not like 2x10G on M2/L2 and other first and second generation of APICs.

When you see those 4x10G ports on the server, the logical thing to do will be to use the first two ports on each APIC and connect them to two Leafs (for redundancy and stuff). It ended up being that is not really how Cisco intended those interfaces to be used and it will end up blowing your fabric stability and management. I was able to discover the fabric and register the fabric leaf and spines. It was even possible to configure the whole thing up to the functional fabric and L2-L3 functions but the APIC cluster was always unstable and going in and out of configuration stale and data diverged statuses on cluster view.

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Software-defined data center and what’s the way to do it

SDDC – Software-Defined Data Centers

Times of Software Defined everything has long since arrived, the need to implement many appliances, two or more for each network function, is not so popular anymore. The possibility to manage packet forwarding, load balancing and security of network traffic inside the datacenter from one simple web console is showing finally that things can be managed in a simpler way after all. All vendors in the networking world tried to come up with their own way of centralizing data center management, as it ends up, all of them did it, some better than the others. As always, it’s not a surprise that some vendors are better in creating hardware-based forwarding solutions and some others in software solutions (in this case, software for packet forwarding).

Requirements

It seems that we have basically only a few good options when wanting to select a complete SDDC solution. The data center needs to provide a large number of server access ports in the form of networking devices that are configured and managed as simply and promptly as possible. Datacenter network needs to be configured in a way to provide robustness and stability of packet forwarding at almost line rate and all that at 10-100, even 400Gbps speeds.

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