It should be no surprise that VMware is putting a lot of time and energy around the benefits of vRealize Automation and NSX. The #BetterTogether campaign has taken off and just about anyone touching either of these solutions should be able to articulate that message by now. I’ve been focusing on the integrations between vRA and NSX partly because it’s within my charter, but primarily due to being huge believer in the transformative nature of the technology behind it. Whether at a VMUG, in a briefing, building internal content, or in my home office as my puppy, Millie, begs to go out and play just as I start recording a video (it’s like clockwork!), this has easily become one of my favorite topics.

While the benefits are easily articulated and demos [usually] go off without a hitch, much of the feedback I get suggests there’s a perceived complexity with the integration. “Not so!”, says I. While complex is a relative term, integrating vRA and NSX doesn’t have to be, especially if you have a basic understanding of the two solutions individually. Although I will agree on at least one thing — while documentation is generally getting better, there’s still a major gap in prescribed [how-to] content. This, in my opinion, is the leading cause of the perceived complexity.

Let’s fix that, shall we?

vRA and NSX Integration Series

This blog series will aim to demystify Application-Centric Networking and Security with step-by-step guides to get you up and running quickly.

vRA and NSX – Better Together (Introduction)

vRA and NSX – Intro to Network and Security Automation

Part 1, vSphere Prep

Part 2, Staging Logical Networks

Part 3, Security Groups and Policies

Part 4, Edge and Routed Gateways

Part 5, Endpoint Configuration

Part 6, Network Profiles

Part 7, Network Paths and Reservations

Part 8, App-Centric Use Cases

Part 9, NSX as a Service

Links will be added as each post is published (subscribe at the bottom of the page to be notified when new posts are out). I’m committing to release at least one post each week.


  • This series assumes you have a good understanding of vRealize Automation and NSX concepts (together or separately). You might be able to get by as a newbie to either vRA or NSX, but not having some familiarity to either might be challenging.
  • Review the related documentation for vRA and NSX…do not jump into this blindly. Have the docs handy for reference.
  • I will not cover initial product deployment — vSphere (vCenter and at least 2 managed hosts), NSX Manager, and vRealize Automation 7.x are required. These products should be deployed and configured per best practices and functioning properly.

Lab Environment:

  • vSphere 6.0u2 Hosts (4 ESXi Hosts, 2 Clusters x 2 Hosts Each)
  • vCenter Server (VCSA) 6.0u2
  • NSX Manager 6.2.2
  • vRealize Automation 7.0.1
  • vRealize Orchestrator 7.0.1 (embedded w/vRA)

Disclaimer: be sure to work in a test/dev environment and perform all the appropriate testing prior to rolling anything out into production. You should always refer to VMware’s official product documentation for all production configurations.

Other Related Content

Using Baseline Security Groups

Unified Service Authoring with NSX

vRA and NSX Deep-Dive Recording




  1. I am waiting for this post from tooo long…

    Just need a Confirmation, I am not able to see any Logical switches created within NSX in the vRA..

    Does vRA only support OnDemand Logical Switch(we have to create network profiles like NAT and External)

    Akshay Poddar

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