VMware NSX-T 3.1 - What's new and Upgrade Best Practices

With the release of NSX-T 3.1, VMware has further improved the key innovations shipped in NSX-T 3.0. This article takes a quick look at the new features and provides Upgrade Best Practices for a seamless upgrade.

What's new in NSX-T 3.1?

  • Production-Ready Federation - Cross-site resiliency and single point of management.
  • Multicast - Feature enhancements enable multicast in a multi-tenant environment with support for congruent unicast and multicast topologies.
  • Single NSX Manager Support - In conjunction with vSphere HA, NSX-T now supports a single NSX-T Manager deployment in production deployments.
  • vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) - vRNI integration enhances network modeling with configuration assurance and intent verification.
  • NSX Intelligence 1.2 - Physical Server Support and L7 content profile recommendations.
  • Support for VMware Life Cycle Manager - Simplify NSX life cycle management and improves upgrade times.
  • Advanced Threat Prevention - Secure East-West Traffic with new Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP) Capabilities including Distributed IDS/IPS, Network Sandboxing, Network Traffic Analytics/Networking Detection, and Response (NTA/NDR).
  • Distributed IPS – Enhancements to the IDS with the ability to prevent lateral threat movement on east-west traffic across your environments
  • Shared Transport VLAN - You can now use the same Overlay (Geneve) VLAN for Host and Edge Transport Nodes on the same physical adapter.

NSX-T 3.1 Upgrade Best Practises

NSX-T is a critical component in your vSphere Environment. Proper planning is critical to assure a seamless upgrade.

Release Notes - This is typically the first step and crucial for all VMware products.

Interop Matrix - Check Interop Matrix to make sure that all products are supported with NSX-T 3.1. Upgrade products that are out of support. You can use the official Interop Matrix, or use my Interop Lister to quickly identify supported products:

Note: Direct upgrade from NSX-T 2.4 or older is not supported.

Keep an eye on the following products:
  • VMware Cloud Director (Version 10.2 required)
  • VMware Cloud Director Availability (Not supported)
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack (Not supported)
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager (Version 8.1.1 required)
  • vRealize Network Insight (Version 6.0.0 required)
  • VMware Skyline Collector (Not supported)
  • VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (Not supported)
  • VMware Telco Cloud Automation (Not supported)
Upgrade Checklist
Work with the NSX-T Data Center Upgrade Checklist. This is a great way to track your work on the upgrade process.
Operational Impact
Make yourself familiar with the operational impact of the NSX-T Data Center Upgrade.
Get the Bits
For upgrading installations, you need to download the Upgrade Bundle (.mub). This is the entry point for the upgrade.

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