Harnessing Remote Logging for Enhanced NSX Component Management

This blog post delves into the configuration of NSX components for remote Syslog transfer, a critical step in centralizing log management and enhancing network visibility.

Local Logging on NSX Components

By default, NSX components store logs locally, which can be accessed in privileged mode. These logs are crucial for troubleshooting and auditing purposes, offering insights into the system’s operations and potential issues. The default storage location for these logs is the /var/log directory. Here’s a quick overview of the log files and their locations for various NSX components:

  • NSX Manager: Logs are stored in
    /var/log/proton/nsxapi.log, and
  • NSX Edge: The primary log file is located at /var/log/syslog.
  • NSX Controller: Logs can be found in /var/log/cloudnet/nsx-ccp.log.
  • ESXi Host: Logs are stored in /var/log/nsx-syslog.log.

Configuring Remote Logging

To leverage the full potential of logging, configuring NSX components to transfer logs to a remote Syslog server is advisable. This allows for centralized log management, making it easier to monitor and analyze the logs from various components in a single location. Here are the commands to configure logging to a remote Syslog server for different NSX components:

  • NSX Manager:
    • Set command:
      set logging-server <IP Address/fqdn:Port> proto udp level info
    • Verify command:
      get logging-servers
  • NSX Edge:
    • Set command:
      set logging-server <IP Address/fqdn:Port> proto tcp level info
    • Verify command:
      get logging-servers

These commands should be executed with the appropriate IP address, fully qualified domain name (FQDN), and port of your Syslog server, alongside the protocol and log level specified. The choice between TCP and UDP protocols depends on your requirements for log delivery confirmation and network overhead. Generally, TCP is used when acknowledgment of log receipt is required, while UDP is used for lower network overhead.

NSX Installation and Essential Commands Guide

This guide provides a concise overview of essential commands to manage NSX effectively.

NSX Manager Commands

The NSX Manager is the centralized network management component of VMware NSX, offering an intuitive interface for managing the network and security settings across your virtual environment. Below are key commands you can run from the NSX Manager CLI:

  • List all ESXi hosts to get the Transport Node UUIDs: To view all ESXi hosts registered with NSX, and their respective Transport Node UUIDs, use
    get transport-nodes status
    This command is vital for identifying nodes for further configuration or troubleshooting.
  • List the Transport Node Status: To check the status of a specific Transport Node, use get transport-node <uuid> status. This command provides insights into the health and connectivity status of the node.
  • List the Transport Node VTEP Information: View the VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint (VTEP) information with get transport-node <uuid> vtep. This is crucial for understanding the overlay network configuration.
  • Lists the VIF UUID of a VM: To find the Virtual Interface (VIF) UUID of a VM connected to a Segment on a Transport Node, use
    get transport-node <uuid> vifs
    This command is useful for troubleshooting VM connectivity issues.

Commands Run from ESXi Host

Directly interacting with ESXi hosts is sometimes necessary for detailed troubleshooting or configuration. Here are commands specific to NSX that you can run on ESXi hosts:

  • List the VIBs installed on ESXi: To see all NSX-installed VMware Installation Bundles (VIBs) on an ESXi host, use esxcli software vib list | grep nsx.
  • List all the NSX modules currently loaded in the system: Check which NSX modules are active with esxcli system module list | grep nsx.
  • Check the User World Agents (UWA) Status: For nsx-mpa, nsx-proxy, and nsx-opsagent, use /etc/init.d/nsx-<agent> status to verify if these agents are running correctly.
  • Check UWAs Connection: Use
    esxcli network ip connection list | grep <port number> to check connections to the NSX Controllers (Port 1235) and NSX Manager (Port 1234).

ESXi Host Networking Commands

Network configuration and troubleshooting directly on ESXi hosts are facilitated by the following commands:

  • List Physical NICs/vmnic: esxcli network nic list gives a summary of all physical NICs.
  • Physical NIC Details: Use esxcli network nic get -n <vmnic-id> for detailed information about a specific NIC.
  • List vmk NICs: For IP addresses, MAC, MTU, and other details, use
    esxcli network ip interface ipv4 get.
  • Details of vxlan IP Stack: To view the VXLAN-dedicated IP stack configuration, use esxcli network ip interface list --netstack=vxlan.
  • Ping from a VXLAN TCP/IP Stack: vmkping ++netstack=vxlan x.x.x.x allows testing connectivity using the VXLAN stack.
  • View VXLAN-dedicated TCP/IP Stack’s Routing and ARP Tables: Use
    esxcli network ip route ipv4 list -N vxlan and
    esxcli network ip neighbor list -N vxlan respectively.

NSX Installation Log Files

Troubleshooting NSX installations requires access to specific log files:

On NSX Manager:

  • View Log Files: Use get log-file manager.log follow or
    get log-file syslog follow to tail the NSX Manager logs in real-time.

On ESXi Hosts:

  • Installation and Host-related Logs: Located at /var/log/esxupdate.log for installation activities, /var/log/vmkernel.log for host issues, and
    /var/log/vmksummary.log, /var/log/vmkwarning.log for VMkernel warnings and messages. Module load failures are captured in /var/log/syslog.log.

Mastering the NSX Management Cluster: Essential Commands and Log Files

This blog post dives into the essential commands for managing the NSX Management Cluster and explores the key log files within the NSX Manager to ensure you’re equipped to maintain and troubleshoot your setup effectively.

Understanding the NSX Management Cluster

Essential Commands for NSX Management Cluster

To help you navigate the management of the NSX Management Cluster, here are some indispensable commands you should be familiar with:

Querying Cluster Status

  • Command: get cluster status
  • Description: This command allows you to check the current status of the NSX management cluster, providing insights into its health and operational state.

Querying Cluster Configuration

  • Command: get cluster config
  • Description: Use this command to obtain the configuration details of the NSX management cluster. It’s essential for verifying the current setup and planning any necessary adjustments.

Detaching a Manager Node

  • Command: detach node <ID>
  • Description: If you need to remove a Manager node from the cluster, this command lets you safely detach it, ensuring no disruption to the cluster’s operation.

Adding a New Manager Node

  • Command:
    join <Primary Manager Node IP> cluster-id <ID> thumbprint <Primary Manager Node Thumbprint> username admin password <admin password>
  • Description: This command is crucial for scaling or repairing the NSX management cluster. It allows you to add a new Manager node to the cluster, enhancing its resilience and capacity.

Key Log Files in NSX Manager

For effective troubleshooting and monitoring of the NSX Management Cluster, understanding how to access and interpret log files is crucial. Here are the essential log files within the NSX Manager:

NSX Manager Logs

  • Access Command: get log-file manager.log follow
  • Location & Description: This log provides detailed records of the operations and events within the NSX Manager, offering invaluable insights for troubleshooting.

Syslog Files

  • Access Command: get log-file syslog follow
  • Location & Description: The syslog files capture a wide range of system messages, including errors, warnings, and operational information, which are critical for diagnosing issues within the cluster.

Understanding and Utilizing NSX Distributed Firewall through CLI Commands

This blog post aims to elucidate the essential command-line interface (CLI) commands for managing the NSX Distributed Firewall, focusing on commands that can be executed from the NSX Manager and ESXi hosts, as well as detailing relevant log files for troubleshooting and auditing purposes. Additionally, we’ll touch upon commands for managing gateway firewall settings on NSX Edge devices.

NSX Manager: The Central Control Plane

The NSX Manager serves as the centralized control plane for managing NSX environments, offering a unified interface for configuring and monitoring network virtualization and security settings. Here are some key CLI commands you can run directly from the NSX Manager:

  • View the Rule Count of L2, L3 Firewall Rules: To get a summary of Layer 2 and Layer 3 firewall rules, use the command get firewall summary
    This command provides a quick overview of the rules in place, helping administrators gauge the extent of their firewall configurations.
  • List of Firewall Entities in the Excluded List: To view the entities excluded from firewall protection, execute get firewall exclude-list
    This command is crucial for identifying assets that are intentionally bypassed by firewall rules for specific purposes.
  • Firewall Status: Checking the overall status of the firewall is as simple as running get firewall status
    This command confirms whether the distributed firewall is operational and can help in troubleshooting connectivity issues.

ESXi Hosts: The Data Plane

ESXi hosts, where VMs reside, are integral to enforcing NSX DFW rules. The following CLI commands can be run on ESXi hosts to manage and troubleshoot DFW settings at the host level:

  • List All the VMs dvFilter Names: Use summarize-dvfilter to list all dvFilters associated with VMs. dvFilters are kernel modules that apply firewall rules to VMs’ network traffic.
  • View IP and MAC Addresses for a dvFilter: To see the IP and MAC addresses related to a specific dvFilter, the command is
    vsipioctl getaddrsets -f <dvfilter-name>
  • List the Firewall Rules Applied on DvFilter: Retrieve the set of firewall rules applied to a dvFilter by executing
    vsipioctl getrules -f <dvfilter-name>
  • View Firewall Configuration for a dvFilter: To inspect the firewall configuration for a specific dvFilter, the command is
    vsipioctl getfwconfig -f <dvfilter-name>

Log Files: The Insight Tools

Log files play a pivotal role in monitoring, troubleshooting, and auditing. Here are essential log file locations for NSX components:

  • NSX Syslog Log File on ESXi: Located at /var/log/nsx-syslog.log, this file captures a wide range of NSX-related events and is invaluable for troubleshooting.

Gateway Firewall: NSX Edge Commands

NSX Edge devices provide gateway services, including firewalling for north-south traffic. Here’s how to manage gateway firewall settings via CLI:

  • Query Interfaces with Firewall Rules:
    get firewall interfaces lists all edge interfaces with configured firewall rules.
  • Query Gateway Firewall Rules: For specific interface rules, use
    get firewall <interface-uuid> ruleset rules

Simplifying Network Operations with NSX-T: A Guide to Logical Routing and Diagnostics

This blog post delves into the logical routing capabilities of NSX-T and how network administrators can harness the power of NSX Manager and Edge CLI commands to efficiently manage and troubleshoot their network infrastructure.

NSX Manager: Your Gateway to Network Management

NSX Manager serves as the centralized network management console in VMware’s NSX-T architecture. From listing gateways to viewing detailed route information, NSX Manager equips administrators with the tools they need to manage their network effectively.

Key Commands from NSX Manager:

  • List All Gateways: Easily view all the gateways within your network with
    get gateways
  • Gateway Details: For specifics about a gateway, use
    get gateway <uuid>
  • Interface Management: View a gateway’s interfaces using get gateway <uuid> interfaces and get detailed interface information with
    get gateway <uuid> interface <interface-id>
  • Routing Information: Access route details on a gateway with
    get gateway <uuid> route
  • NSX Edge Node Status: Check the status of NSX Edge nodes registered with the NSX Manager using get transport-node status

Edge CLI: Deep Dive into Gateway Diagnostics

The Edge CLI is your go-to for an in-depth analysis and diagnostics of gateways. Whether you’re monitoring gateway statistics or reviewing BGP and OSPF configurations, the Edge CLI commands offer a granular view of network operations.

View the gateway BGP information:

  • Gateway Overview: get gateways provides a list of all gateways.
  • To enter into the VRF construct: vrf <ID>
  • View the bgp neighbor of a Tier-0 SR:
    (Tier-0)> get bgp neighbor
  • View the interfaces on a Tier-0 SR:
    (Tier-0)> get interfaces
  • View the forwarding table:
    (Tier-0)> get forwarding
  • View the Routes:
    (Tier-0)> get route
  • View the BFG configuration:
    (Tier-0)> get bfd-config

View the gateway OSPF information

  • To enter into the VRF construct: vrf <ID>
  • View the bgp neighbor of a Tier-0 SR:
    (Tier-0)> get ospf neighbor
  • View the details of the OSPF interface:
    (Tier-0)> get ospf interface
  • View the forwarding table:
    (Tier-0)> get forwarding
  • View the Routes:
    (Tier-0)> get route
  • View the OSPF database:
    (Tier-0)> get ospf database

  • Statistics and Neighbors: Use get gateway <uuid> stats for statistics and
    get gateway <uuid> neighbor to view neighbor details.
  • BGP and OSPF Configurations: Enter the VRF construct with
    vrf <ID> to view BGP neighbors, OSPF interfaces, and routing information.

ESXi Host-Level Insights

At the ESXi host level, NSX-T extends its capabilities to provide essential diagnostics and log file access, ensuring administrators have all the necessary tools at their fingertips.

Commands Run from ESXi:

  • Forwarding Table and Interfaces: View the gateway’s forwarding table and interfaces with get gateway <UUID> forwarding and
    get gateway <UUID> interfaces.
  • Neighbors: To see a gateway’s neighbors, use
    get gateway <UUID> neighbors.

Log Files on ESXi:

  • NSX Syslog Log File: Located at /var/log/nsx-syslog.log, this log file is critical for troubleshooting and understanding the events within your NSX environment.

Mastering NSX: Navigating Logical Switching Commands in NSX Manager and ESXi

Understanding the command-line interface (CLI) commands for logical switching is crucial for VCAP-NV Deploy Exam. This guide provides an overview of essential CLI commands for managing logical switches, segments, and related components from both the NSX Manager and ESXi hosts.

Commands Run from NSX Manager (nsxcli)

1. Managing Segments

Segments in NSX-T are logical constructs that define Layer 2 broadcast domains, similar to VLANs in traditional networking.

  • List All Segments: To view all configured segments, use
    get segments
  • List All Switch Ports Connected to a Segment: View ports with
    get segment <uuid> ports
  • Segment Information: For details on a specific segment, use
    get segment <vni-or-uuid>
  • ARP Table: View the ARP table of a segment with
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> arp-table
  • MAC Table: To see the MAC address table, use
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> mac-table
  • Segment Statistics: For segment traffic statistics, use
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> stats
  • Transport Node Table: List transport nodes part of a segment with
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> transport-node-table
  • VTEP Table: View VTEP information with
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> vtep
  • Segment Port Information: To inspect a segment port, use
    get segment-port <uuid>
  • Segments Statistics: For aggregated statistics of all segments,
    get segments stats.

Commands Run from ESXi (nsxcli)

Viewing Segment Information and Tables on ESXi

  • All Segments: get segments lists all segments accessible from the ESXi host.
  • Segment Information: Use
    get segment <logical-switch-id> for segment details.
  • ARP Table: Access a segment’s ARP table with
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> arp-table
  • MAC Table: View the MAC table via
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> mac-table
  • ND Table: To see the ND table,
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> nd-table
  • VTEP Table: For VTEP details,
    get segment <vni-or-uuid> vtep-table
  • Segment Port Status: Check the status of segment ports with
    get segment-port status
  • Tables Using VNI: To access MAC, ARP, VTEP tables using VNI,
    get segment {local | remote} {mac-cache | arpcache | vtep-cache} <vni>
  • Tunnel Status: Verify transport node tunnel status with
    get host-switch <host-switch-name> tunnels

ESXi Commands for Network Insights

Insights and Performance Monitoring

  • Switch Port ID: View switch port IDs using net-stats -l
  • Configured Switches: List switches with esxcfg-vswitch -l
  • VTEP and VNI Configuration: net-vdl2 -l shows VTEP and VNI config
  • VDS Uplinks Configuration: For uplink configuration, net-vdr -C -l
  • View Gateways: List gateways with net-vdr -I -l
  • Verify VXLAN Module: Check VXLAN kernel module with
    esxcli system module get -m vdl2
  • Performance Monitoring: Utilize esxtop for monitoring performance.

Log Files on ESXi

Troubleshooting and Logs

  • ESXi Host hostd Log File: Accessible at /var/log/hostd.log
  • ESXi Host VMkernel Log File: /var/log/vmkernel.log contains kernel logs
  • NSX Syslog Log File: Located at /var/log/nsx-syslog.log

Understanding and utilizing these commands efficiently can significantly enhance the management and troubleshooting of your NSX-T environment. Whether you’re a seasoned network professional or new to VMware NSX, mastering these commands is a step towards ensuring a robust, efficient virtual networking infrastructure.

Mastering VMware NSX: Strategies for Success on the VCAP-NV Deploy Exam

The VCAP-NV Deploy exam is one of the most thrilling practical tests that evaluates your efficiency and forces you to work effectively.

“The journey is the destination.”

To prepare efficiently, I highly recommend taking the VMware NSX Troubleshooting and Operations [V4.x] – Deploy course. This course covers:

  • NSX Operations and Tools
  • Troubleshooting the NSX Management Cluster
  • Troubleshooting Infrastructure Preparation
  • Troubleshooting Logical Switching
  • Troubleshooting Logical Routing
  • Troubleshooting Security
  • Troubleshooting the NSX Advanced Load Balancer and VPN Services
  • Datapath Walkthrough

The syllabus thoroughly addresses the scope of the exam.

Review the labs multiple times and after completing the VMware NSX – Deploy course. Useful links:

Focus on the VMware Odyssey HOL Labs that were available at my time: HOL-2426-81-ODY VMware Odyssey – NSX Security Challenge.

Aim to be precise and sufficiently quick.

Exam Content Overview: The exam includes various sections focused on:

Section 4 – Installation, Configuration, and Setup
Objective 4.1 - Prepare VMware NSX-T Data Center Infrastructure
Objective 4.1.1 - Deploy VMware NSX-T Data Center Infrastructure components
Objective 4.1.2 - Configure Management, Control and Data plane components for NSX-T Data Center
Objective 4.1.3 - Configure and Manage Transport Zones, IP Pools, Transport Nodes etc.
Objective 4.1.4 - Confirm the NSX-T Data Center configuration meets design requirements
Objective 4.1.5 - Deploy VMware NSX-T Data Center Infrastructure components in a multi-site
Objective 4.2 - Create and Manage VMware NSX-T Data Center Virtual Networks
Objective 4.2.1 - Create and Manage Layer 2 services
Objective 4.2.2 - Configure and Manage Layer 2 Bridging
Objective 4.2.3 - Configure and Manage Routing including BGP, static routes, VRF Lite and EVPN
Objective 4.3 - Deploy and Manage VMware NSX-T Data Center Network Services
Objective 4.3.1 - Configure and Manage Logical Load Balancing
Objective 4.3.2 - Configure and Manage Logical Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Objective 4.3.3 - Configure and Manage NSX-T Data Center Edge and NSX-T Data Center Edge Clusters
Objective 4.3.4 - Configure and Manage NSX-T Data Center Network Address Translation
Objective 4.3.5 - Configure and Manage DHCP and DNS
Objective 4.4 - Secure a virtual data center with VMware NSX-T Data Center
Objective 4.4.1 - Configure and Manage Distributed Firewall and Grouping Objects
Objective 4.4.2 - Configure and Manage Gateway Firewall
Objective 4.4.3 - Configure and Manage Identity Firewall
Objective 4.4.4 - Configure and Manage Distributed IDS
Objective 4.4.5 - Configure and Manage URL Analysis
Objective 4.4.6 - Deploy and Manage NSX Intelligence
Objective 4.5 - Configure and Manage Service Insertion
Objective 4.6 - Deploy and Manage Central Authentication (Workspace ONE access)

Section 5 - Performance-tuning, Optimization, Upgrades
Objective 5.1 - Configure and Manage Enhanced Data Path (N-VDSe)
Objective 5.2 - Configure and Manage Quality of Service (QoS) settings

Section 6 – Troubleshooting and Repairing
Objective 6.1 - Perform Advanced VMware NSX-T Data Center Troubleshooting
Objective 6.1.1 - Troubleshoot Common VMware NSX-T Data Center Installation/Configuration Issues
Objective 6.1.2 - Troubleshoot VMware NSX-T Data Center Connectivity Issues
Objective 6.1.3 - Troubleshoot VMware NSX-T Data Center Edge Issues
Objective 6.1.4 - Troubleshoot VMware NSX-T Data Center L2 and L3 services
Objective 6.1.5 - Troubleshoot VMware NSX-T Data Center Security services
Objective 6.1.6 - Utilize VMware NSX-T Data Center native tools to identify and troubleshoot 

Section 7 – Administrative and Operational Tasks
Objective 7.1 - Perform Operational Management of a VMware NSX-T Data Center Implementation
Objective 7.1.1 - Backup and Restore Network Configurations
Objective 7.1.2 - Monitor a VMware NSX-T Data Center Implementation
Objective 7.1.3 - Manage Role Based Access Control
Objective 7.1.4 - Restrict management network access using VIDM access policies
Objective 7.1.5 - Manage syslog settings
Objective 7.2 - Utilize API and CLI to manage a VMware NSX-T Data Center Deployment
Objective 7.2.1 - Administer and Execute calls using the VMware NSX-T Data Center vSphere API

Each section contains objectives ranging from deploying NSX-T Data Center Infrastructure components to configuring and managing security features like the Distributed Firewall, Gateway Firewall, Identity Firewall, and more. It also covers performance tuning, quality of service settings, advanced troubleshooting, operational management, and using API and CLI for management.

Key Recommendations for Success:

  • Thoroughly study the VMware NSX Documentation to understand the fundamentals and advanced features of NSX.
  • Leverage the VMware NSX Product Page for the latest features and updates.
  • Engage with NSX Hands-On-Labs for practical, hands-on experience.
  • Watch NSX Training and Demo videos on YouTube to visualize configurations and use cases.
  • Prioritize precision and speed in lab exercises to mimic exam conditions.

Wishing you all the best in your preparation and lab endeavors. Let’s dive into the labs and master NSX.

Rebuilding from the Break – Restoring the…

Rebuilding from the Break – Restoring the…

This article describes my made experiences with restoring the Avi controller. It demonstrates how easy and effective a restore procedure can be. As kind of bonus material, I also added two scripts to the article which can be used to backup the configuration backup-files to a remote location […]

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