In much the same way that server virtualization programmatically creates, snapshots, deletes and restores software-based virtual machines (VMs), NSX-T network virtualization programmatically creates, snapshots, deletes, and restores software-based 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 works by implementing three separate but integrated planes: management, control, and data. The three planes are implemented as a set of processes, modules, and agents residing on three types of nodes: manager, controller, and transport nodes.

  • Every node hosts a management plane agent.

  • The NSX Manager node hosts API services. Each NSX-T installation supports a single NSX Manager node and does not support an NSX Manager cluster.

  • NSX Controller nodes host the central control plane cluster daemons.

  • NSX Manager and NSX Controller nodes may be co-hosted on the same physical server.

  • Transport nodes host local control plane daemons and forwarding engines.