In the same way that server virtualization programmatically creates and manages virtual machines, NSX-T Data Center network virtualization programmatically creates and manages virtual networks.

With network virtualization, the functional equivalent of a network hypervisor reproduces the complete set of Layer 2 through Layer 7 networking services (for example, switching, routing, access control, firewalling, QoS) in software. As a result, these services can be programmatically assembled in any arbitrary combination to produce unique, isolated virtual networks in a matter of seconds.

NSX-T Data Center works by implementing three separate but integrated planes: management, control, and data. These planes are implemented as a set of processes, modules, and agents residing on two types of nodes: NSX Manager and transport nodes.
  • Every node hosts a management plane agent.
  • NSX Manager nodes host API services and the management plane cluster daemons.
  • NSX Controller nodes host the central control plane cluster daemons.
  • Transport nodes host local control plane daemons and forwarding engines.

NSX Manager supports a cluster with three node, which merges policy manager, management, and central control services on a cluster of nodes. NSX Manager clustering provides high availability of the user interface and API. The convergence of management and control plane nodes reduces the number of virtual appliances that must be deployed and managed by the NSX-T Data Center administrator.

The NSX Manager appliance is available in three different sizes for different deployment scenarios:
  • A small appliance for lab or proof-of-concept deployments.
  • A medium appliance for deployments up to 64 hosts.
  • A large appliance for customers who deploy to a large-scale environment.

See NSX Manager VM and Host Transport Node System Requirements and Configuration maximums tool.