In this article we will answer (at a very high level) the question:

What is NSX-T?

NSX's Background

As many of you may know NSX is VMware's SDN network virtualization and security platform, that was born as a result of the VMware acquisition of Nicira back in 2012.[1]

There are 2 main types of NSX, NSX-V and NSX-T, both of which underpin the various myriad of NSX products that are within the VMware NSX portfolio.


NSX-V (NSX for vSphere) was the first type of NSX released by VMware.

It is tightly coupled with vSphere and its network components such as the virtual distributed switch (vDS), but also with vCenter. In addition, overlay transport is performed using VXLAN encapsulation.


NSX-T (NSX Transformers) is decoupled from vSphere/vCenter and is designed to address many of the use cases that NSX-V was not designed for.

It supports ESXi- and KVM-based hypervisors, as well as providing OpenStack and Kubernetes-based plugins.

NSX-T relies on a virtual switch called "hostswitch", which is a:

  • variant of the VMware virtual switch on ESXi-based hosts
  • an Open Virtual Switch (OVS) based switch on KVM-based hosts.

Furthermore, unlike NSX-V, NSX-T uses the Geneve encapsulation protocol.

Further Reading


  1. "What is VMware NSX and VMware SDN Network ... - SDxCentral." Accessed 6 Feb. 2019. ↩︎

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