The previous step, showed step-by-step instructions on how to create “IP Pools” that are going to be used for “Tunnel Endpoints” later in the series. This blog is the “Step 6” of the NSX-T Installation series, where we will discuss “Transport Zones” (its types and limitations), N-VDS and step-by-step instructions to create vLan and Overlay Transport Zones.
But before we proceed, I would encourage you to briefly skim through my other blogs below, which you may find useful for this step:
If you are deploying this in your home lab or performing a PoC in a nested vSphere Environment, I would also suggest you have a quick glance of my blog Home Lab Setup – Nested ESXi Host’s networking for NSX-T.
Let’s begin with the question – What is a Transport Zone?
A transport zone limits the hosts on segments (known as logical switches) it can see and therefore which VMs can be connected to those segment(s). A transport zone can span one or more hosts clusters and a host can belong to multiple transport zones.
- A segment (logical switch) can belong to only one transport zone.
- VMs in different transport zones do not have any communication in the layer 2 network.
- The span of a segment (logical switch) is limited to a transport zone, so virtual machines in different transport zones cannot be on the same Layer 2 network.
Types of Transport Zones
- Overlay: Overlay transport zone is used by both host (VMware ESXi and supported third party hypervisors) and NSX Edge transport nodes. When a host or NSX Edge transport node is added to an overlay transport zone, an N-VDS is installed on the host or NSX Edge.
- VLAN: VLAN transport zone is also used by both host (VMware ESXi and supported third party hypervisors) and NSX Edge transport nodes but for its VLAN uplinks.
What is N-VDS?
N-VDS stands for NSX virtual distributed switch, which allows for virtual-to-physical packet flow by binding logical router uplinks and downlinks to physical NICs. For both types of Transport Zones discussed above – when a host or NSX Edge transport node is added, an appropriate N-VDS is installed.
With technical background out of the way, let’s get started…
1. Click System -> Fabric -> Transport Zones -> Add:
2. Specify the Transport Zone and N-VDS name, host membership criteria, the traffic type dictates the type of “Transport Zone” you create. Select Overlay for now and click ADD:
3. Upon successful creation, a message will be displayed as shown in the screenshot below:
Let’s create a VLAN transport zone by following same steps but selecting vLAN “Transport Zone” traffic type as depicted in the screenshot below:
Following are the transport zones “to be” utilized in this installation series:
|Transport Zone Name||Transport Zone Type||Details/Relevance|
|TZ-STD-OVERLAY-11||Overlay||Geneve Encapsulated Traffic|
|TZ-STD-VLAN-11||vLAN||Migrating vmkernel networks from vDS to N-VDS (optional)|
|TZ-STD-VLAN-ToR-A-11||vLAN||Site A Top of the rack switch network|
|TZ-STD-VLAN-ToR-A-12||vLAN||Site A Top of the rack switch network|
|TZ-STD-VLAN-ToR-B-11||vLAN||Site B Top of the rack switch network|
|TZ-STD-VLAN-ToR-B-12||vLAN||Site B Top of the rack switch network|
So far we have created the first two in the table above, create the remaining vLAN based transport zones as shown in the screenshot below: