The Server Manager builds a topology of the managed Software-Defined Networks entities. The topology objects represent the managed Software-Defined Networks elements in the network, their relationships, and their connections. Software-Defined Networks topology objects include:

  • EdgeGateway—An edge provides network edge security and gateway services to isolate a virtualized network. EdgeGateway topology object is applicable only for NSX-V.

  • ControlCluster—A control cluster is a Network Virtualization Platform (a network control plane) that enables programmatic control of networking capabilities within multi-tenant cloud data centers. Control Cluster implements High Availability (HA) solution for Network Virtualization Platform (NVP).

  • ControllerNode—The individual node in the SDN control cluster configuration.

  • LoadBalancerVirtualServer—A VirtualServer presents a virtual address to the outside world. When users attempt to connect, the LoadBalancerVirtualServer forwards the connection to the most appropriate server doing bi-directional network address translation (NAT).

  • LogicalPort—A logical port for a logical switch. LoadBalancerVirtualServer topology object is applicable only for NSX-V.

  • LogicalRouter—A logical router provides Layer 3 routed networking in a logical network. A logical router can be configured to offer additional services such as Network address translation (NAT) and Layer 3 routed connections to the external, physical network. An example of a logical router is a Distributed Router.

    In NSX-T a LogicalRouter consists of two components, a Distributed Router(DR) and a Service Router (SR). Additionally, NSX-T has a multi-tiered routing model with logical separation between provider router function and tenant routing function. The concept of multi-tenancy is built into the routing model. The top-tier logical router is referred as tier-0 while the bottom-tier logical router is referred as tier-1. This structure gives both provider and tenant administrators complete control over their services and policies. The provider administrator controls and configures tier-0 routing and services, while the tenant administrators control and configure tier-1.

  • LogicalSwitch—A Layer 2 switching entity that connects Virtual Machines to Logical Routers in a virtual network.

    In NSX-T, a LogicalSwitch can also be associated with a VLAN directly when it is used for Layer 2 switching for packets going outside the vCenter.

  • NSXManager—The NSX Manager is the centralized network management component of VMware NSX. It is installed as a virtual appliance on an ESX host in the vCenter Server.

  • TransportConnector—The IP addresses and encapsulation types used by transport nodes to communicate with each other in Overlay Logical Networks. Transport nodes represent the ESX Hypervisors in the topology. In Bridged Logical Networks, the transport connectors indicate the OVS bridge that a hypervisor should use when sending or receiving unencapsulated traffic.

  • TransportNodeInterface—The interfaces configured on every transport node (ESX Hypervisor) that are participating in the Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) infrastructure.

  • TransportZone—A physical network that connects a set of transport nodes. Transport Zones in NSX-T can be associated to either an Overlay network or a VLAN network.

  • Tunnel—In Overlay Logical Networks, L2-in-L3 tunneling is used to completely decouple logical network topology from transport network topology. Tunneling provides Layer 2 adjacency between Virtual Machines of the same tenant running on different hypervisors from the same data center or a different data center.

  • VirtualInterface—A virtual network interface card, a software abstraction of a NIC for a virtual machine.

  • VirtualLoadBalancerPool—Groups of servers or devices that can receive traffic from a virtual load balancer, according to a specified load balancing method. VirtualLoadBalancerPool topology obeject is only applicable for NSX-V.

  • VirtualLoadBalancerService—A service on a virtual load balancer that distributes ne work or application traffic across servers. VirtualLoadBalancerService topology object is only applicable for NSX-V

  • NSX-T Virtual Distributed Switch — A NSX-T Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS), which runs on a transport node (ESX Hypervisor) that provides physical traffic forwarding and is spread across a given Overlay/VLAN TransportZone. It provides underlying forwarding service which each LogicalSwitch relies on.

  • Edge Node — Edge nodes are service appliances with pools of capacity, dedicated to running network services that cannot be distributed to the hypervisors. An Edge node is also a transport node just like compute nodes in NSX-T, and like compute node it can connect to more than one transport zone - one for overlay and other for N-S peering with external devices.

  • Edge Cluster — An Edge cluster is a group of homogeneous Edge transport nodes - all VM or all bare metal - with common properties. It provides scale out, redundant, and high-throughput gateway functionality for logical networks.

In addition, the Smarts Server Manager for Software-Defined Networks feature uses topology objects like the Hypervisor class and the VirtualMachine class that the VMware Management feature discovers.