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.

Continue reading “Packet Capture on VMware Workstation”

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”

NSX-v Load Balancer Application Rules

Application rules in NSX for vSphere allow you to create advanced load balancing rules which may not be possible with the application profile or services natively available on the Edge Services Gateway (ESG). However, the ESG enables you to add your specific application rules to support your load balancing scenario; application rules are built using HA Proxy syntax. Continue reading “NSX-v Load Balancer Application Rules”

NSX-V Edge (ESG) Packet Capture

Capturing packets on the NSX Edge is relatively simple, the ESG uses similar capture syntax to that of TCPDUMP with a few minor caveats, which I will cover in this post.
When doing a packet capture, the primary thing to do is to identify the interface you want to capture traffic on and then define the traffic capture filter, which will ensure you only capture the packets that your interested in. This will cut down the noise and leave you with a fairly clean packet capture, however there is no reason you can’t just capture everything. Continue reading “NSX-V Edge (ESG) Packet Capture”

NSX-V Edge: Site-to-Site IPSEC VPN

This post will describe the process of setting up a site-to-site vpn from the VMware NSX Edge to a Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000v, although we are using a virtual Cisco router, the process described below could be used for any remote device. In this post we will be configuring the Edge Services Gateway (ESG) via the vSphere Web Client, however, the method of setting up the VPN could easily be automated via the NSX REST API. Continue reading “NSX-V Edge: Site-to-Site IPSEC VPN”