For NSX Edge nodes, you determine the form factor, the appliance number, and placement according to the requirements for network services in the VI workload domain.

An NSX Edge node is an appliance that provides centralized networking services which can not be distributed to hypervisors, such as load balancing, NAT, VPN, and physical network uplinks. Some services, such as Tier-0 gateways, are limited to a single instance per NSX Edge node. However, most services can coexist in these nodes.

NSX Edge nodes are grouped in one or more edge clusters, representing a pools of capacity for NSX-T Data Center services.

Form Factors of NSX Edge Nodes

An NSX Edge node can be deployed as a virtual appliance, or installed on bare-metal hardware. The edge node on bare-metal hardware can have better performance capabilities at the expense of more difficult deployment and limited deployment topology use cases.

Design Component

Edge Virtual Appliance Deployed via SDDC Manager

Edge Virtual Appliance Deployed via NSX Manager

Edge Bare Metal Appliance

Considerations

Ease of deployment and ease of expansion

↑↑

  • You can deploy NSX Edge virtual appliances from NSX Manager, SDDC Manager, or directly from OVA.

  • Deployment of bare-metal appliances have certain hardware compatibility requirements and must be manually deployed and connected to the environment.

Ease of upgrade and life cycle management

o

o

  • NSX Manager provides life cycle management for associated NSX Edge nodes.

  • NSX Edge nodes on bare-metal hardware require individual hardware life cycle management of firmware, drivers, and so on.

Manageability

↑↑

o

  • NSX Edge nodes on bare-metal hardware require individual monitoring and management of the hardware, such as failures, firmware, and so on.

  • SDDC Manager can rotate the passwords only of the NSX Edge virtual appliances. Because SDDC Manager is not aware of the bare-metal NSX Edge appliances, it is unable to rotate their passwords.

Availability and recoverability

↑↑

↑↑

  • If a failure of the hardware hosting the NSX Edge virtual appliance node occurs, vSphere HA automatically restarts the appliance on another host.

  • If a failure of an NSX Edge node on bare-metal hardware occurs, it must be redeployed.

Capability

o

o

o

NSX Edge virtual appliances and NSX Edge nodes on bare-metal hardware provide the same network services.

Design agility

↑↑

You can use bare-metal NSX Edge nodes only in an SDDC with a single availability zone in the VI workload domain.

Performance

↑↑

  • In certain use cases, an NSX Edge node on bare-metal hardware can support more raw performance and lower latency.

  • The performance of an NSX Edge virtual appliance depends on the underlying ESXi host. To improve performance, migrate the appliance to a host that has higher performance.

Capacity

o

o

  • In rare use cases, an NSX Edge node on bare-metal hardware can support more raw capacity.

  • NSX Edge virtual appliance can easily be scaled up and down as needed.

Sizing Compute and Storage Resources for NSX Edge Nodes

When you size the resources for NSX-T Data Center components, consider the compute and storage requirements for each component, and the number of nodes per component type.

Table 1. Resource Specifications of NSX Edge Nodes per Form Factor

Form Factor

Appliance Size

CPU or vCPU

Memory (GB)

Storage (GB)

NSX Edge on bare metal hardware

Minimum requirements

-

8 CPU

8

200

Recommended requirements

-

24 CPU

256

500

NSX Edge virtual appliance

Small

Use for proof of concept only

2 vCPU

4

200

Medium

4 vCPU

8

200

Large

Use in large environments that require load balancers

8 vCPU

32

200

Extra Large

16

64

200

Table 2. Design Decisions on the Form Factor and Sizing for the NSX Edge Nodes

Design ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

VCF-WLD-NSX-EDGE-CFG-001

Use large-size NSX Edge virtual appliances.

The large-size appliance provides the required performance characteristics for most tenant workloads.

None.