Better together: #vSphere 7 and #NSX-T 3.0 OR We are slowly getting friends ;)

Let me start with a quote I wrote down 5 years ago (wow did time pass by).

IMO this quote is still correct (maybe I should have used network & security skills) and really changed the quality of services I can deliver within the IT field. My NSX journey startet at this time with homelabbing and learning NSX-v from the one and only fellow comdivision partner & friend Matthias Eisner.

NSX-v; NSX-T; NSX Datacenter; NSX Cloud; NSX Advanced Load Balancer; NSX Intelligence.

Woa woa woa ….. that’s a lot of NSX…. Remember; NSX is not a single product. NSX is a suite of network & security products fullfilling VMware’s dream: Deliver every network & security service in software.

NSX-v (or NSX for vSphere) has been the software defined networking solution for vSphere evolved from the product vCloud Networking & Security. We were able to to create software-defined VXLAN networks or software defined network services with edge services gateway in a simple manor & create microsegmentation around vSphere based virtual machines.

It was good but it was a product around vSphere and not a real network product (which made it easier for me to get started with it).

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How to do the ESXi VMkernel PING: Unknown interface: Invalid argument

Over the years one of my favourite tool when troubleshooting network problems in the vSphere world was vmkping. It allows us to send an ICMP request based on a specified VMkernel port (perfect for troubleshooting vMotion/vXLAN problems).

With ESXCLI NETWORK DIAG PING a nice wrapper for the ping tool was implemented into the ESXCLI namespaces, so that we can use this command remote via vCLI oder even through the PowerCLI cmdlet.

Unfortunately in vSphere 6.0 the command doesn’t work anymore as it has been before (in case that you do NOT use the default networking stack). VXLAN, vMotion and Provisioning traffic can now be configured to use a seperate tcp/ip stack (dedicated routing/arp tables).

Once you use such a non-default-VMkernel port via ping or the according ESXCLI command you receive the following error:

Unknown interface ‘vmkX’: Invalid argument

Invalid Argument

To make it work again make sure to specify the networking stack.

esxcli network diag ping -I vmk2 –netstack=vmotion -H

VMkping suc

Take care since the stack parameter requires a case-sensitive input?

esxcli network diag ping -I vmk2 –netstack=vMotion -H

leads to

Got no data from process:
/bin/ping ++netstack=vMotion -S vMotion -I vmk2 -X

so better use the correct value out of the following command return:

esxcli network ip netstack list



vxlan / vmotion or skip the entry for defaultTcpipStack

If you don’t like the ESXCLI method, just use the -S parameter in the good old vmkping



Let’s learn #VMware #NSX

Version 1.1 (Date: 02/November/2015)

In the new post series let’s learn I will try to summarize usefulĀ links, classes, lectures and recommendations to learn specific topics. I used many of those resources to pass my VCP6-NV exam and thought it might be useful to share them with everyone.


In this part I am going to show you ressources to learn about VMware’s network virtualization’s product: NSX. I will try to update this post from time to time. Let’s start with initial version 1.0

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