NSX ALB Licensing with VMware Cloud Director

History of NSX ALB and VCD Licensing:

From version 10.2, VMware Cloud Director began supporting NSX-T Advanced Load Balancer (AVI Load Balancer). This integration has become crucial for Cloud Services Providers, allowing them to provide their customers with a range of Load Balancing services (LBaaS) for Virtual Data Center workloads and Tanzu containers.

Before the release of VMware Cloud Director version 10.4, Cloud Services Providers would deploy the NSX-T Advanced Load Balancer controller using either the Basic or Enterprise license, depending on each customer’s specific requirements. With this approach, the controller license deployed for each customer would control all the available features and functionalities.

Customers would be charged according to their usage, determined by their controller license type. The downside of this approach was that separate hardware would be required for each controller type, which was costly.


Usecase1: Customer 1 does not need real-time metrics to be seen for the LBaaS offering Usecase2: Customer 2 needs real-time metrics to be seen for the LBaaS offering

How Is it Now?

As of version 10.4, VMware Cloud Director no longer supports the concept of Basic and Enterprise licensed controllers. Instead, all controllers are now deployed as Enterprise only, and Basic license keys are no longer required, removing the need for separate hardware for each license type.

Cloud Services Providers can use the VMware Cloud Director admin portal settings on the Edge Gateways to limit tenants to the Basic feature set (referred to as “Standard” in VMware Cloud Director) or grant them access to all the Enterprise feature sets (referred to as “Premium” in VMware Cloud Director). This change allows Cloud Services Providers to effectively manage the load-balancing features used by tenants with the new feature set option and only pay for uplifted Premium features consumed.

Wondering What Feature each of the Feature Sets Supports?

See the table to understand the difference in features available with Standard Feature Set vs. Premium Feature Set. Note: Standard Feature Set is a free offering, and Premium Feature Set (additional features) is an additional cost item defined in the Product Usage Guide.

Why is it important to use NSX ALB with VCD?

By now, you should have understood that NSX ALB enables load-balancing capabilities from layer 4 to layer 7 within VCD. Here are some other compelling reasons why this integration is essential:

  • Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster’s incoming (ingress) traffic is backed by NSX ALB.
  • Following the migration from NSX-V to NSX-T (which is compulsory), the utilization of NSX ALB becomes necessary to avail the advanced load-balancing functionalities and to provide Load Balancer as a Service (LBaaS).

Our goal is to include additional NSX ALB features in upcoming VMware Cloud Director releases.

To help you make the most out of NSX ALB, VMware advises the following courses and certifications:

If you have further questions, please ping the “avi” channel on our external VMware Cloud Partner Slack