PowerNSX One Liners

So instead of using the old point-click method of navigating NSX to find an IP address, firewall rule or service definition, I often find myself using PowerNSX to find that same information.

Using PowerNSX comes with the added bonus of extreme speed i.e. not using the pointy-clicky method!
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vRNI Console Password

I was recently looking for the username and password to login to the vRNI virtual machine, and, after much looking around I found the credentials buried deep in a document which wasn’t the first Google hit.

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My list of NSX-v resources

It’s always difficult organising links to various resources for a particular piece of technology in your bookmarks. Speaking for myself, the list of bookmarks starts with the best of intentions, all nicely organised with tags and in the correct folders, but over time as I am sure most people can attest to; it becomes very dis-organised and a bit of a mess.
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NSX-v Central CLI Packet Capture

In NSX-v 6.2.3 a new feature to aid troubleshooting and operations got introduced, called Central CLI for Packet Capture. The feature is intended to reduce the administrative burden of logging onto any ESXi host to start a packet capture. The ability to perform packet captures for troubleshooting network issues is something all network guys do from time to time and using a network virtualisation platform such as VMware NSX for vSphere it’s no different. Therefore, in this post, I will go through the process of initiating a packet capture using the NSX-v Central CLI for a VM that is misbehaving.

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Documenting the NSX-v DFW with PowerNSX

Documenting firewall configuration is challenging at the best of times, in most enterprise networks there are tens of thousands of lines of ACLs that have been added organically over time to any number of firewalls. Documentation of said policy is normally the actual configuration that you see on the console in front of you, which is great but depending on the vendor it may be difficult to extract that data into a more usable format. Continue reading “Documenting the NSX-v DFW with PowerNSX”

Packet Capture on VMware Workstation

Packet capture is an essential tool in any network/systems engineers toolset, mainly when working with services in a development environment or during troubleshooting. So recently when I was testing the installation of the NSX VIBs onto the nested ESXi host in my VMware Workstation lab, I wanted a facility to capture the conversation between a single ESXi host, NSX Manager and the vCenter Server (vcsa). You could naturally perform this packet capture directly on the ESXi host (running as a VM), or instead, perform it from your underlying operating system.

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NSX-v: ESG – submitting tasks via the API Asynchronously

Why you would want to execute tasks via the NSX API asynchronously is a good question, and, can be answered with two words “Parallel Workflows”. In a Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) where automation is extensively used, it may be beneficial to execute tasks asynchronously so that your automation workflow can continue while a certain NSX logical construct is built (deployed), one such example is an Edge Services Gateway. This same framework also provides us the ability to query the status of the job to verify if it has been successful or not, which can be quite important if you need to check if a logical component is configured or not. Continue reading “NSX-v: ESG – submitting tasks via the API Asynchronously”

NSX-v Communications Diagram

Below is diagram to visually see the communications (protocol/port) of the NSX-v (6.2.x) components. The focus of the diagram is from an NSX-v viewpoint. Therefore, I haven’t included the comms for vSphere, and it’s relevant components. Continue reading “NSX-v Communications Diagram”