The common NSX-T Data Center concepts that are used in the documentation and user interface.

Compute Manager

A compute manager is an application that manages resources such as hosts and VMs. One example is vCenter Server.

Control Plane

Computes runtime state based on configuration from the management plane. Control plane disseminates topology information reported by the data plane elements, and pushes stateless configuration to forwarding engines.

Data Plane

Performs stateless forwarding or transformation of packets based on tables populated by the control plane. Data plane reports topology information to the control plane and maintains packet level statistics.

External Network

A physical network or VLAN not managed by NSX-T Data Center. You can link your logical network or overlay network to an external network through an NSX Edge. For example, a physical network in a customer data center or a VLAN in a physical environment.

Fabric Node

Host that has been registered with the NSX-T Data Center management plane and has NSX-T Data Center modules installed. For a hypervisor host or NSX Edge to be part of the NSX-T Data Center overlay, it must be added to the NSX-T Data Center fabric.

Logical Port Egress

Outbound network traffic leaving the VM or logical network is called egress because traffic is leaving virtual network and entering the data center.

Logical Port Ingress

Inbound network traffic leaving the data center and entering the VM is called ingress traffic.

Logical Router

NSX-T Data Center routing entity.

Logical Router Port

Logical network port to which you can attach a logical switch port or an uplink port to a physical network.

Logical Switch

Entity that provides virtual Layer 2 switching for VM interfaces and Gateway interfaces. A logical switch gives tenant network administrators the logical equivalent of a physical Layer 2 switch, allowing them to connect a set of VMs to a common broadcast domain. A logical switch is a logical entity independent of the physical hypervisor infrastructure and spans many hypervisors, connecting VMs regardless of their physical location.

In a multi-tenant cloud, many logical switches might exist side-by-side on the same hypervisor hardware, with each Layer 2 segment isolated from the others. Logical switches can be connected using logical routers, and logical routers can provide uplink ports connected to the external physical network.

Logical Switch Port

Logical switch attachment point to establish a connection to a virtual machine network interface or a logical router interface. The logical switch port reports applied switching profile, port state, and link status.

Management Plane

Provides single API entry point to the system, persists user configuration, handles user queries, and performs operational tasks on all of the management, control, and data plane nodes in the system. Management plane is also responsible for querying, modifying, and persisting use configuration.

NSX Controller Cluster

Deployed as a cluster of highly available virtual appliances that are responsible for the programmatic deployment of virtual networks across the entire NSX-T Data Center architecture.

NSX Edge Cluster

Collection of NSX Edge node appliances that have the same settings as protocols involved in high-availability monitoring.

NSX Edge Node

Component with the functional goal is to provide computational power to deliver the IP routing and the IP services functions.

NSX Managed Virtual Distributed Switch or KVM Open vSwitch

Software that runs on the hypervisor and provides traffic forwarding. The NSX managed virtual distributed switch (N-VDS, previously known as hostswitch) or OVS is invisible to the tenant network administrator and provides the underlying forwarding service that each logical switch relies on. To achieve network virtualization, a network controller must configure the hypervisor virtual switch with network flow tables that form the logical broadcast domains the tenant administrators defined when they created and configured their logical switches.

Each logical broadcast domain is implemented by tunneling VM-to-VM traffic and VM-to-logical router traffic using the tunnel encapsulation mechanism Geneve. The network controller has the global view of the data center and ensures that the hypervisor virtual switch flow tables are updated as VMs are created, moved, or removed.

An N-VDS has two modes: standard and enhanced datapath. An enhanced datapath N-VDS has the performance capabilities to support NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) workloads.

NSX Manager

Node that hosts the API services, the management plane, and the agent services.

NSX-T Data Center Unified Appliance

NSX-T Data Center Unified Appliance is an appliance included in the NSX-T Data Center installation package. You can deploy the appliance in the role of NSX Manager, Policy Manager, or Cloud Service Manager. Currently, the appliance only supports one role at a time.

Open vSwitch (OVS)

Open source software switch that acts as a virtual switch within XenServer, Xen, KVM, and other Linux-based hypervisors.

Overlay Logical Network

Logical network implemented using Layer 2-in-Layer 3 tunneling such that the topology seen by VMs is decoupled from that of the physical network.

Physical Interface (pNIC)

Network interface on a physical server that a hypervisor is installed on.

Tier-0 Logical Router

Provider logical router is also known as Tier-0 logical router interfaces with the physical network. Tier-0 logical router is a top-tier router and can be realized as active-active or active-standby cluster of services router. The logical router runs BGP and peers with physical routers. In active-standby mode the logical router can also provide stateful services.

Tier-1 Logical Router

Tier-1 logical router is the second tier router that connects to one Tier-0 logical router for northbound connectivity and one or more overlay networks for southbound connectivity. Tier-1 logical router can be an active-standby cluster of services router providing stateful services.

Transport Zone

Collection of transport nodes that defines the maximum span for logical switches. A transport zone represents a set of similarly provisioned hypervisors and the logical switches that connect VMs on those hypervisors.

Transport Node

A node capable of participating in an NSX-T Data Center overlay or NSX-T Data Center VLAN networking. For a KVM host, you can preconfigure the N-VDS, or you can have NSX Manager perform the configuration. For an ESXi host, NSX Manager always configures the N-VDS.

Uplink Profile

Defines policies for the links from hypervisor hosts to NSX-T Data Center logical switches or from NSX Edge nodes to top-of-rack switches. The settings defined by uplink profiles might include teaming policies, active/standby links, the transport VLAN ID, and the MTU setting.

VM Interface (vNIC)

Network interface on a virtual machine that provides connectivity between the virtual guest operating system and the standard vSwitch or vSphere distributed switch. The vNIC can be attached to a logical port. You can identify a vNIC based on its Unique ID (UUID).

Virtual Tunnel Endpoint

Enable hypervisor hosts to participate in an NSX-T Data Center overlay. The NSX-T Data Center overlay deploys a Layer 2 network on top of an existing Layer 3 network fabric by encapsulating frames inside of packets and transferring the packets over an underlying transport network. The underlying transport network can be another Layer 2 networks or it can cross Layer 3 boundaries. The VTEP is the connection point at which the encapsulation and decapsulation takes place.