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Distributed Security with NSX-T

Distributed Security with NSX-T.

As organisations continue to move towards digital transformation and cloud adoption, network security becomes a critical consideration. Traditional perimeter-based security models are no longer sufficient to secure the modern enterprise network. VMware NSX-T provides a modern approach to network security by enabling distributed firewalling to support a micro segmented security model.

What is VMware NSX-T?

VMware NSX-T is a network virtualisation and security platform that enables organisations to create a virtual network overlay that can span across multiple data centres and clouds. It decouples networking and security from the underlying physical infrastructure and enables organisations to create a software-defined network that can be managed and configured through a central management plane.

Why Do Organisations Need Distributed Firewalling and Microsegmentation?

With the traditional perimeter-based security model, organisations rely on a single point of entry to their network. This approach is no longer sufficient as modern networks are becoming more complex and distributed, with multiple entry points, devices, and applications. Organisations need a modern approach to network security that can provide granular control over their network traffic and applications.

Distributed firewalling and microsegmentation are two critical components of NSX-T that enable organisations to secure their network and applications. Distributed firewalling allows organisations to enforce security policies at the virtual machine level, providing a more granular level of security than traditional perimeter-based security. Microsegmentation provides organisations with the ability to divide their network into smaller segments, each with its own set of security policies, making it more difficult for cyber attackers to move laterally (east to west) within the network.

What Technologies Do We Use to Deliver Distributed Firewalling with NSX-T

The key components of NSX-T are:

NSX-T Manager: NSX-T Manager is the central management plane for NSX-T. It provides a single pane of glass to manage and configure the network and security policies across the entire NSX-T infrastructure.

NSX-T Edge: NSX-T Edge provides gateway services, including routing, firewalling, and load balancing. It can be deployed as a virtual appliance or as a physical appliance.

NSX-T Distributed Firewall: The NSX-T Distributed Firewall (DFW) is a stateful firewall that operates at the hypervisor level and provides granular control over network traffic. It is distributed across all the hosts in the NSX-T overlay network and can be centrally managed through the NSX-T Manager.

The DFW provides an extra layer of security beyond traditional perimeter-based firewalls by enabling organisations to enforce security policies at the virtual machine (VM) level. This allows for a more granular level of security, as organisations can define security policies that are specific to individual VMs, rather than relying on generic policies that are applied to an entire network segment.

The DFW is based on a set of rules that can be defined by administrators. These rules define what traffic is allowed or denied, based on the source and destination IP addresses, ports, and protocols. The rules can also consider other factors, such as the identity of the user or the location of the VM.

The DFW operates in a stateful manner, meaning that it keeps track of the state of network connections and only allows traffic that is part of an established connection. This helps prevent attacks such as port scanning and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

In addition to enforcing security policies, the DFW can also be used for monitoring and reporting purposes. Administrators can define rules that log traffic or alert on suspicious activity, which can help in identifying potential security threats.

Overall, the NSX-T Distributed Firewall provides a powerful and flexible tool for securing modern network environments. By enabling granular control over network traffic and allowing security policies to be defined at the VM level, organisations can implement a more fine-grained approach to security that is better suited to the demands of modern workloads.

NSX-T Data Centre: NSX-T Data Centre is the complete solution for network virtualisation and security. It provides advanced features such as load balancing, distributed routing, and distributed firewalling that enable organisations to build a fully software-defined network.

All these components work seamlessly together to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to network security.

What Are the Challenges of Deploying and Managing Distributed Security Using a Traditional Approach

In a traditional network security architecture, a perimeter-based firewall is typically used to control network traffic between different network segments. This approach can be effective for enforcing security policies at the network level, but it may not be sufficient for providing granular control over individual virtual machines (VMs), application services or workloads across a large-scale distributed infrastructure with many hosts.

Implementing distributed firewalling, using a more traditional approach, can be challenging and complex. It may require the deployment of multiple firewall appliances across different network segments, which can be difficult to manage and configure, even when using a central management platform, and it is very common for issues such as inconsistency of security policies, log and event correlation, high-availability and embedding advanced security capabilities such as IPS and malware protection, and this is where NSX-T excels.

NSX-T is a better solution for delivering distributed firewalling because it provides a software-defined approach to network security that is better suited to modern work models. Here are some reasons why NSX-T is a better solution:

  1. Granular Control: NSX-T provides granular control over network traffic, allowing security policies to be defined at the virtual machine level. This provides a more fine-grained approach to security that is better suited to modern workloads.
  2. Distributed Architecture: The NSX-T Distributed Firewall is deployed across all the hosts in the NSX-T overlay network, allowing security policies to be enforced at the hypervisor level. This approach to network security is more efficient and effective than deploying multiple firewall appliances.
  3. Centralised Management: NSX-T provides a centralised management plane that allows administrators to manage and configure network policies across the entire overlay network. This simplifies management and reduces the risk of errors.
  4. Automation: NSX-T provides a set of APIs that can be used to automate network and security policies. This reduces the time and effort required to manage and configure the environment.
  5. Visibility: NSX-T provides granular visibility into network traffic and security events, allowing administrators to identify potential security threats and proactively take steps to mitigate them.
  6. Scalability: NSX-T is designed to be scalable, allowing organisations to easily add new hosts and workloads to the overlay network. This supports the growth of the organisation and ensures that the network remains secure and reliable.

Overall, NSX-T provides a more modern and effective approach to network security than a traditional perimeter-based approach. By providing granular control over network traffic and a distributed architecture that is better suited to modern workloads, NSX-T can help organisations implement a more efficient, effective, and flexible approach to network security.

We Can Help You

WhiteSpider can help you design and implement a secure and scalable NSX-T architecture that meets your business requirements. Our NSX-T specialists have deep expertise in networking and security technologies and can help you understand the benefits and challenges of NSX-T. We can help you adopt a more software-defined approach to security and provide a comprehensive set of tools and processes that can manage and monitor the network effectively.

Let WhiteSpider Help You Explore NSX-T

Our NSX-T services can help you explore the benefits and complexities of NSX-T, and how the technology can help you achieve your security objectives. We offer several options to help you understand NSX-T in greater detail.

We can provide a remote demo to showcase the capabilities of NSX-T and answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, we can provide you with access to our NSX-T labs, where you can explore the product and test different scenarios. Finally, we can come to your site to provide a deep dive workshop that will give you a comprehensive understanding of NSX-T.

At WhiteSpider, we have deep expertise in networking and security technologies and can help you design and implement a secure and scalable NSX-T architecture that meets your business requirements. Contact us today to learn more about our NSX-T offerings and how we can help you achieve your security objectives.

 

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WhiteSpider is an advanced technology services company, specialising in the provision of consultancy, strategic advice, and practical support in enterprise service architectures. As experts in software-defined architectures, we help organisations across the world to standardise their IT and communications infrastructures as they transition to digital.

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