A transport node can participate in an NSX-T overlay or NSX-T VLAN network.

Several types of transport nodes are available in NSX-T.

ESXi Host Transport Nodes

ESXi host transport nodes are ESXi hosts prepared and configured for NSX-T. N-VDS provides network services to the virtual machines running on these ESXi hosts.

Edge Nodes

NSX-T Edge nodes are service appliances that run network services that cannot be distributed to the hypervisors. They are grouped in one or several NSX-T Edge clusters. Each cluster represents a pool of capacity.

Uplink profiles define policies for the links from ESXi hosts to NSX-T logical switches or from NSX-T Edge virtual machines to top of rack switches. By using uplink profiles, you can apply consistent configuration of capabilities for network adapters across multiple ESXi hosts or edge virtual machines. Uplink profiles are containers for the properties or capabilities for the network adapters.

Uplink profiles can use either load balance source or failover order teaming. If using load balance source, multiple uplinks can be active. If using failover order, only a single uplink can be active.

Table 1. Design Decisions on Transport Nodes and Uplink Policy

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implications


Create an uplink profile with the load balance source teaming policy with two active uplinks for ESXi hosts.

For increased resiliency and performance, supports the concurrent use of both physical NICs on the ESXi hosts that are configured as transport nodes.

You can use this policy only with ESXi hosts. Edge virtual machines must use the failover order teaming policy.


Create an uplink profile with the failover order teaming policy with one active uplink and no standby uplinks for edge virtual machine overlay traffic.

Provides a profile that according to the requirements for Edge virtual machines. Edge virtual machines support uplink profiles only with a failover order teaming policy.

VLAN ID is required in the uplink profile. Hence, you must create an uplink profile for each VLAN used by the edge virtual machines.

  • You create and manage more uplink profiles.

  • The VLAN ID used must be different than the VLAN ID for ESXi host overlay traffic.


Create two uplink profiles with the failover order teaming policy with one active uplink and no standby uplinks for edge virtual machine uplink traffic.

Enables ECMP because the еdge virtual machine can uplink to the physical network over two different VLANs.

You create and manage more uplink profiles.


Add as transport nodes all ESXi hosts that are prepared for NSX-T.

Enables the participation of ESXi hosts and the virtual machines on them in NSX-T overlay and VLAN networks.

Hosts run N-VDS. You must migrate the existing VMkernel ports from the existing virtual switches to N-VDS. Apply a staged approach where only a single physical NIC is assigned to the N-VDS instance until all VMkernel ports are migrated to N-VDS.


Add as transport nodes all edge virtual machines.

Enables the participation of edge virtual machines in the overlay network and the delivery of services, such as routing, by these machines.



Create an NSX-T Edge cluster with the default Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) settings containing the edge transport nodes.

Satisfies the availability requirements by default.

Edge clusters are required to create services such as NAT, routing to physical networks, and load balancing.