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VMware NSX-T 3.1 Edge Node Sizing

Edge Nodes in NSX-T 3.1 are available as Virtual Machines and Bare Metal Edges. When you deploy a Virtual Edge Node using the embedded deployment function in NSX-T, you can choose between 4 sizes - Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. In this article, I'm trying to collect information about the different sizing options, what they are intended for and how to resize Edge Nodes.

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How to configure Multiple TLS Certificates with SNI in NSX-T Load Balancer

When you want to use the same public IP address for multiple websites, you have to leverage the SNI extension. Server Name Indication (SNI) is an extension to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol which allows a client to indicate which hostname it wants to connect to. This allows a server to present specific certificates on the same IP address and hence allows multiple secure (HTTPS) websites to be served by the same server.

The NSX-T Load Balancer supports SNI Certificates on a single Virtual Server (IP Address) with different Server Pools in the backend. This article explains how to configure SNI-based Load Balancing with 3 different secure HTTPS Websites on a single IP Address with the NSX-T 3.1 Load Balancer.

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Import of Let's Encrypt Certificates in NSX-T Fails With "Certificate chain validation failed"

When you try to import a Let's Encrypt SSL Server Certificate in NSX-T, the following error message is displayed:

Error: You have 1 Error(s)
Certificate chain validation failed. Make sure a valid chain is provided in order leaf,intermediate,root certificate. (Error code: 2076)

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SSL Load Balancer in VMware Cloud Director with NSX-ALB (AVI)

With the NSX Advanced Load Balancer integration in Cloud Director 10.2 or later, you can enable SSL offloading to secure your customer's websites. This article explains how to request a Let's Encrypt certificate, import it to VMware Cloud Director and enable SSL offloading in NSX-ALB. This allows tenants to publish websites in a secure manner.

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Shared Service Engine Groups in VMware Cloud Director with NSX Advanced Load Balancer

In the Getting Started with NSX Advanced Load Balancer Integration in VMware Cloud Director 10.3 Guide, I've explained how to enable "Load Balancing as a Service" in VCD with dedicated Service Engines. With this Service Engine deployment model, each Edge Gateway is statically assigned to a dedicated NSX-ALB Service Engine Group. That means, for each EGW you create in VCD, you have to create a Service Engine Groups, which consists of multiple Service Engines (Virtual Machines).

Service Engine Groups can also be deployed in a shared model. Shared Service Engine groups can be assigned to multiple Edge Gateways. In this deployment model, a single Service Engine (Virtual Machine) can handle traffic for multiple customers. For obvious security reasons, and to prevent problems with overlapping networks, VRFs are used inside the SE to fully separate the data traffic.

This article explains how to use Shared Service Engine Groups in VMware Cloud Director 10.3.

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Getting Started with NSX Advanced Load Balancer Integration in VMware Cloud Director 10.3

When you are using NSX-T as network backend for VMware Cloud Director, you can't use the Native Load Balancer included in NSX-T. Since Cloud Director 10.2, the NSX Advanced Loadbalancer (ALB), previously known as AVI Vantage Platform, has been integrated to allow customers to create Self-Service Load Balancers.

This article explains all steps required to integrate NSX ALB into VMware Cloud Director.

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Filter specific Domains (FQDN) with NSX-T Distributed Firewall

This article explains how to set up Firewall Rules in NSX-T that allow users to only access specific domains. In many high-security environments, outgoing traffic is filtered using a firewall. When you want to access an external service, you usually create IP-based firewall rules. In some cases, you don't know which IP addresses hide behind a domain. This is where domain filters come in handy.

While this feature has been available in NSX-T for a while, it was limited to a predefined set of domains. With the Release of NSX-T 3.1, you can finally define your own FQDN lists.

In this example, I'm going to set up NSX-T Distributed Firewall to only allow access to www.virten.net and reject all other domains.

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Deploy NSX-T Edge VM SSH Keys with Ansible

While working with NSX-T, there are many reasons to access edge appliances using SSH. Most troubleshooting options are only available using nsxcli on the appliance itself. During the deployment, each appliance has 3 user account: root, admin, and audit. Alle Accounts are configured with password-based authentication. In a previous article, I've already described how to deploy SSH Keys using nsxcli, which allows a secure and comfortable authentication method. In this article, I'm explaining how to use ansible to deploy SSH public keys to NSX-T Edges. This option allows you to easily manage keys on a large platform.

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How to add AD Authentication in vCenter 7.0

The vCenter Server has an internal user database that allows you to add and manage users very easily. Users management and Single Sign-On is provided by the embedded Platform Service Controller which is available since vSphere 6.0. In a large environment, you might want to connect your virtualization infrastructure to a centrally manage Active Directory.

This article explains how to add AD authentication in vSphere 7.0 and how to get the "Use Windows session authentication" checkbox to work with the "Enhanced Authentication Plugin".

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