AVI / VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer Lab


Welcome to my new blog series on AVI / VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer or simply ALB.
Back in July 2019 VMware bought Avi Networks, and since then has been integrating the Avi Load balancers more and more into the VMware products. Avi worked with vCenter before it was purchased by VMware but it is now a much tighter integration and in a future release of NSX-T it will become the default load balancer.

So why do we need Avi?

The load balancer that’s currently deployed as part of NSX-T functions just fine however it lacks features that would make it great and able to compete with the likes of F5 for that reason VMware bought Avi Networks.

“With Avi Networks now part of VMware, we can deliver the industry’s only complete software-defined networking stack from L2-L7 built for the modern multi-cloud era leveraging a common architectural foundation. VMware will be able to offer both built-in load balancing capabilities as part of VMware NSX, and an advanced, standalone ADC offering that includes global server load balancing, web application firewall (WAF) and advanced analytics and monitoring.”

The last part of this statement is the key part ‘VMware will be able to offer both built-in load balancing capabilities as part of VMware NSX, and an advanced, standalone ADC.’

ADC stands for Application Delivery Controller, essentially a load balancer but they can also do SSL offloading, application classification, compression and reverse caching etc.
What this statement means is that any customer that currently has an NSX-T license that allows them to use load balancing namly Advanced and Enterprise Plus will still be able to use the load balancers with the current feature set as that offered by NSX-T.
If a customer wants to use the full capabilities of AVI/ALB then an additional license can be purchased.

This blog series

I’ll be honest Load balancing is not my favorite subject and I’ve not had to do a ton it in past projects. However that’s no longer the case and as I learn best by doing it made sense to create a new blog series covering AVI/ALB and how it integrates with NSX-T.
I’ll be going over the basics of how Avi is architectured and then I’ll cover how to deploy it and integrate it with NSX-T and vCenter, then on to how to actually setup the load balancers and hopefully more of the advanced features such as GSLB and WAF! links to the new posts will be added here once they are up.

Because I want to cover the configuration options for vCenter as well as NSX-T clouds the lab guide will essentially split into two guides at certain points and where applicable will rejoin into one guide. If you only want to read one guide then follow the relevant links in the posts or to see all the posts for each option select the appropriate guide from the menu dropdown on the main menu screen.


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