A VMware Integrated OpenStack NSX deployment includes management and compute clusters with four principal networks. You can also separate the NSX Edge node into a separate cluster.

A typical NSX deployment architecture consists of three clusters and four VLANs. For details about the VLANs, see Physical NSX Network.

The VMware Integrated OpenStack architecture includes the following clusters and components.

Cluster or Component


vCenter instance

A dedicated vCenter instance is not required but optimizes deployment.

Active Directory

For user authentication by the OpenStack Identity Service.

Management cluster

Contains all the deployed OpenStack component and management VMs. See Management Cluster below for a detailed description of the management cluster and its components.

Compute cluster

Compute resources for Nova. All tenant VMs are created on these compute clusters.

NSX Edge cluster

Contains Edge VMs that provide edge security and gateway services to logical networks, and provide DHCP, Floating IP (NAT), Security Groups and routing functions for the OpenStack Networking component.

NSX Manager

The centralized network management component of NSX that provides an aggregated system view.

NSX Controllers

An advanced distributed state management system that controls virtual networks and overlay transport tunnels.

Management network

Carries traffic among the management components.

API access network

Exposes the VMware Integrated OpenStack dashboard and provides access for tenants to the OpenStack APIs and services.

Transport network

Connects the DHCP nodes in the Edge cluster with the compute clusters.

External Network

Provides external access for the instances created in VMware Integrated OpenStack.

The NSX Controller and NSX Manager nodes can be deployed on separate clusters or hosts. It is a best practice to deploy the NSX Controller and NSX Manager nodes in the Management Cluster.

The Management Cluster contains all the deployed OpenStack component and management VMs.

The management cluster contains the following components.




Load Balancers

Provide HA and enable horizontal scale-out architecture.

2 (1 active, 1 standby)

Databases (DBs)

Instances of MariaDB that store the OpenStack metadata.

RabbitMQ, the message queue service used by all OpenStack services, also runs on the database nodes.

3 (1 active, 2 standby)

VMware Integrated OpenStack Controller

Contains all the OpenStack services, including Compute, Block Storage, Image Service, Identity Service, and Object Storage.

The memcache service, which enables production-grade performance for the Identity Service, also runs on the controller nodes.

2 (both active)

Compute Driver

Contains a subset of Compute processes that interact with the compute clusters to manage VMs.

1 per compute cluster

VMware Integrated OpenStack Manager Service (OMS)

The vApp that you use to manage your VMware Integrated OpenStack vApp.


VMware Integrated OpenStack Template

Base template for creating all OpenStack service VMs.


Ceilometer Databases (optional)

Instances of MongoDB or NoSQL databases for use by Ceilometer.

3 (1 active, 2 standby)