VMware has recently updated the pricing and packaging of NSX. This new pricing and packaging format should allow more customers to reap the benefits of NSX. In a nutshell... there are now three editions of NSX (Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise), with varying capabilities. The edition you choose should be determined based upon the features and functionality that you need in your environment.
A quick overview of NSX
Network virtualization has been lagging behind compute virtualization (often referred to as server virtualization) and storage virtualization, largely due to manual processes which constrain the provisioning of network resources. This affects the timing of application deployment, significantly reducing the operational impact of utilizing virtualization technology. Likewise, an error in network provisioning could affect the performance of a nearby application, which is often the result of a manual process that leads to network downtime or, in a worst-case scenario, a security breach.
VMware NSX enables customers to automate the provisioning of network services and fortify their network's security. By embedding network and security capabilities that are typically handled by hardware (routers, switches, load balancers, firewalls, etc.) directly into the ESXi hypervisor, NSX accelerates network provisioning and streamlines operations by reducing the time and effort to provision network and security services. NSX abstracts the management of the network and utilizes the network hardware (switches / routers) as a pool of available bandwidth, much like how ESXi abstracts server hardware into a pool of compute resources.
The updated pricing and packing of VMware NSX
NSX Standard – Provides for network automation capabilities, the NSX Edge firewall for protecting the perimeter of the network, as well as distributed switching and routing.
$1995 per socket, plus support and subscription (@MSRP)
NSX Advanced – Extends upon NSX Standard by adding the NSX distributed firewall, which allows for true micro-segmentation1 capabilities.
$4495 per socket, plus support and subscription (@MSRP)
Note – Micro-segmentation allows for the creation of a zero-trust environment, where only secure, verified traffic is allowed to pass between network hosts. In other words, not only do you protect yourself at the perimeter of your network (think of this as a bank vault’s door), but each network host / VM / application is protected from every other network host / VM / application (think of these as secure lock boxes behind the bank vault’s door). Even if an attacker can get past the bank vault door, instead of an open room filled with loot, they now have to figure out how to crack into each secure lock box.
NSX Enterprise – Extends upon NSX Advanced by adding cross-vCenter and multi-site NSX capabilities, the ability to create and manage VPNs, and several other features.
$6995 per socket, plus support and subscription (@MSRP)
All editions of NSX are licensed per socket – just like vSphere.
NSX Advanced is also available per-user for use with Horizon View deployments.
NSX Enterprise is also available on a per-VM term subscription.
Customers can also start wherever they need, and upgrade to a higher edition later.
Customers who have already purchased NSX are entitled to NSX Enterprise licensing.
There was only one edition of NSX for vSphere in the prior version. NSX for vSphere included all of the functionality of the current NSX Enterprise edition (save a few newly released features), thus existing customers are entitled to upgrade to NSX Enterprise at no extra charge. As it is unlikely that customers will look to downgrade from the NSX Enterprise edition of the product to a lower edition of the product, there should be no effect on the customer’s existing infrastructure or purchasing needs.
If a customer does not require all of the functionality provided by NSX Enterprise, they could potentially purchase future NSX licensing at Standard / Advanced. However, it is important to note that there is no downgrade option. You cannot trade in your NSX for vSphere / NSX Enterprise licenses for NSX Standard / Advanced.
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