@Kim_Bottu … Virtually Gung Ho
Some weeks ago Rich, the Staff Systems Engineer responsible for maintaining technical contact between the company I work for and VMware asked me if I would be interested in attending the NSX Exploration days, a two day event where the official 5 day ‘NSX Install Configure and Manage’ (kinda) gets crammed into a two day event. Now you have to know that NSX has been on my radar for the last year so, and I have been bugging my manager about it at least once a week (resulting in the manager banning me from mentioning NSX until August 25, 2016… Not that it works) there was only one answer: ‘Hell yeah! Beam me up Scotty! Where do I sign up?’
Before I continue I want to express my gratitude to Rich and VMware Belgium for giving me the opportunity to participate in this wonderful event. So thank you very much, Rich and VMware Belgium!
First some obligatory bad news:
But that is all the bad news there is, really!
Why you should attend
Now let me tell you why I think this event is a godsend:
So there you have 6 good reasons why it might be good to take up the offer of attending the NSX Exploration days when your VMware representative asks you if you are interested.
So what is day one all about?
Day one focuses on the the basics of NSX.
Day two focuses more on the advanced networking features
For someone with almost no networking background day one was a walk in the park. Mostly because I have read up a lot about NSX and have taken my VCA-NX some months ago. Day two however was a lot to take in. I never in my life had to deal with F5’s, Nexus switches, catalyst switches or anything of that.
Next to me on day one some networking people really had a harder time getting familiar with the concepts and clearly struggled to let go of all the Cisco way of doing things but really had a day of relief with day two. Day two represented a familiar environment for them: Load balancing, routing and Firewalls were very recognizable items to them and they did not really have problems with the concepts how NSX tries to change the whole network topology and workings. At day two some of them really could see the benefit of NSX.
So after all the hype (for me), do I think NSX is worth investing time in? Yes. NSX bridges a gap where networking and Security can be automated, where workflows and templates can be re-used and precious time can be saved. In the days where cloud providers are trying to convince IT management that they are better than local IT (SLA, CAPEX and even OPEX), NSX can aid also the local IT teams giving them an opportunity to shorten the time to provide a solution to the business they serve. No one is as fast as local IT with the right team and the right tools so the local IT teams should push those boundaries. NSX will just be another tool in the toolbox.
Will NSX and automation steal jobs? Not if you implement it with respect for your colleagues and make the existing teams responsible for managing the new solution. NSX should be managed by networking and security teams primarily, people will have to be retrained to operate, mange and troubleshoot these new NSX toolset. NSX also offers transparency in the stack, virtual as well as physical. So the blame game (Who cused the error, server team, networking team or security) is gone in NSX, transparency in networking shows where the error happens and the team responsible for the error will have to admit and rectify.
So what about the Cisco vs NSX story? Well it is probably clear I am siding with NSX on this. I truely think NSX offers the better solution. But in the end you as a customer will have to weight the pros and cons for yourself. Be honest with yourself.. Are you making a choice ‘based on existing investments (CAPEX)’ or ‘based on the existing operational teams and their tasks’ or ‘the solution you need’? Before you answer keep the future in mind in let’s say 2 to 3 years from now. I am quite sure that at least 70% of you will say that NSX offers the best solution.. the question is then, are you willing t make all those needed changes for NSX?