NSX Advanced Load Balancer publishes minimum and recommended resource requirements for new Service Engines. However, network and application traffic may vary. This section provides guidance on sizing.

The Service Engines can be configured with a minimum of 1 vCPU core and 1 GB RAM up to a maximum of 64 vCPU cores and 256 GB RAM. In write access mode, the Service Engine resources for newly created Service Engines can be configured within the Service Engine Group properties from the Controller.


CPU scales very linearly as more cores are added. CPU is a primary factor in SSL handshakes (TPS), throughput, compression, and WAF inspection. For NSX-T Clouds, the default is 1 vCPU cores, not reserved. However, vCPU reservation is highly recommended.


Memory scales near linearly. It is used for concurrent connections and HTTP caching. Doubling the memory will double the ability of the Service Engine to perform these tasks. For NSX-T Clouds, the default is 2 GB memory, reserved within the hypervisor for NSX-T Clouds.

Packets Per Second (PPS)

For throughput-related metrics, the hypervisor is likely going to be the bottleneck and provides limited PPS for a virtual machine such as Service Engine.

HTTP Requests Per Second (RPS)

HTTP RPS is dependent on the CPU or the PPS limits. It indicates the performance of the CPU and the limit of PPS that the Service Engine can push. On vSphere, the Service Engine can provide approximately 40k RPS per core running on Intel v3 servers. Maximum RPS on the Service Engine virtual machine running on ESXi will be approximately 160k.


The Service Engines may store logs locally before they are sent to the Controllers for indexing. Increasing the disk will increase the log retention on the Service Engine. SSDs are highly recommended, as they can write the log data faster. The recommended minimum size for storage is 10 GB, ((2 * RAM) + 5 GB) or 15 GB, whichever is greater. 15 GB is the default for Service Engines deployed in VMware clouds.

NSX Advanced Load Balancer Service Engine Performance Guidelines

The following table provides guidance to size an NSX Advanced Load Balancer Service Engine virtual machine with regards to performance:


Per core performance

Maximum performance on a single Service Engine VM

Max performance on a single Service Engine VM



HTTP requests per second



HTTP throughput

5 Gbps

7 Gbps

SSL throughput

1 Gbps

7 Gbps

SSL new transactions per second (ECC)



SSL new transactions per second (RSA 2K)




High availability with active-active scale-out is the preferred way of deploying applications. This can meet any performance requirements.