NSX (-T) deprecated features

It is not a recent thing, actually in some cases it’s been a while since VMware announced the deprecation, but I personally think and from my experience based on customer needs these features are going to be the most affecting ones among the changes that are coming. Which features am I talking about? Here is the list:

  • N-VDS host switch
  • Manager API
  • Basic Load Balancer

I would like to focus on these features with emphasis on how to migrate your NSX fabric away from these features.

The (-T) in topic name was intentional – we are moving from NSX-T (3.2.2 as of the date of this article) to NSX 4. NSX 4 is the first version in some time to make some big changes to the NSX infrastructure from deprecated features perspective. NSX 4 version release notes announced dropping support for N-VDS host switch (release notes here):

NSX N-VDS Host Switch support: NSX 3.0.0 and later has the capability to run on the vSphere VDS switch version 7.0 and later. This provides a tighter integration with vSphere and easier NSX adoption for customers adding NSX to their vSphere environment. Please be aware that VMware has removed support of the NSX N-VDS virtual switch on ESXi hosts starting this release, NSX N-VDS will remain the supported virtual switch on NSX Edge nodes, native public cloud NSX agents, and bare metal workloads.

VMware added vDS feature to NSX-T licences meaning you can use vDS if you have NSX license (even if you do not have appropriate vSphere license). Pretty much the same like with vSAN for example or other VMware products unlocking unavailable features / products with certain license editions of another products.

Anyway starting with NSX 4 you are not able to deploy N-VDS as the host NSX switch (you won’t be able to upgrade to such version with N-VDS on host either).

So the question is – how to move from deprecated N-VDS switches to vDS? Basically there are three ways how to do it:

  1. Migrate with GUI Migration tool
  2. Migrate with CLI
  3. Migrate with API calls

We are going to look on all three options. What I mainly used for the migration is the official documentation here. I recommend to read it as I won’t go through to all specific details regarding version (e.g. for plain 3.2 there is no possibility to migrate using the tool etc.). Take the specific guides more as a review than a step-by-step guide.

What I’m going to mention is the prerequisities as these are showstoppers – vCenter version 7 and ESXi hosts version 7. NSX can use VDS that is of version 7.0.0 or higher, so your vSphere has to be on this version in order to create the vDS and map vmnics to its uplinks.

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