vCloud Director has supported the control of vCNS and more recently NSX for some time. The mainstays of this were the deployment and management of Edge appliances. Now vCNS/NSX edges have had the same basic functionality but until very recently, vCloud Director was unable to take full advantage of the newer NSX edge features. Instead it worked with NSX in compatibility mode deploying older style vCNS edges or new NSX edges but limiting what functionality they had.
With vCD 8.20 the deployment of edges has not changed, you’ll still get the same basic deployment options but you will discover a few new options and additional text then in previous Edge deployments.
Once the edge is deployed vCD can then control and manage the edge as before. What’s new is the ability to upgrade the edge to advanced functionality. While the same edge is deployed it now communicates with vCD using the current generation of API’s opening a new set of features and functions.
To upgrade the Edge to this new functionality right click the edge and select ‘Convert to Advanced Gateway.’ In my testing this has not caused any disruption to existing services but take caution when performing this upgrade.
Managing the edge still requires you to right click the edge and select ‘Edge Gateway Services’ but now a new HTML5 control menu will open.
The new UI will look familiar if you’ve read my post on the new distributed firewall controls but let’s take a look at the basic edge configuration.
Clicking on the ‘Edge Settings’ will bring up the deployment settings on the edge:
One nice thing that VMware has added is some sanity checks on input data. Previously when working with Edges there was no data checks until you attempted to submit a change. This often left you attempting to make a change multiple times until you determined where your error was and corrected it.
Hopefully you see how the new edge functionality works from a basic deployment standpoint. We’ll continue with the Edge Logical Firewall in our next post.