Last Updated: 2023-09-04


TL;DR: NSX-T is the successor of NSX-V, and NSX-T is renamed to NSX in 4.0 (2022). So now it is just NSX.

NSX: Networking and Security Virtualization.

NSX-T: NSX-Transformers. For network virtualization (predecessor: NSX-V / NSX-vSphere) improvement: NSX-T isn’t confined to one vCenter deployment, and it’s possible to connect multiple servers, use one NSX manager, and view the entire virtual network from one controlling interface.

With NSX-T, it’s possible to build highly agile software-defined network infrastructures that allow multiple cloud networks in different environments to interact with one another and be controlled from one central location.


VMXNET3 (VMXNET Generation 3) is a virtual network adapter designed to deliver high performance in virtual machines (VMs) running on the VMware vSphere platform.

ESXi vs vSphere vs vCenter

  • vSphere: the platform. "an enterprise-scale virtualization platform"; the brand name for VMware’s suite of virtualization products and features. VMware calls vSphere "the heart" of a modern software-defined data center (SDDC).
  • vCenter: management of the virtual data center / vSphere environment. It allows you to assign custom roles to users, create new VMs, search the vCenter Server inventory.
  • ESXi hosts VMs (ESXi itself may run on baremetal or VMs). ESXi is the hypervisor that provides a means of deploying and serving virtual machines (VMs) ESXi is a hypervisor, or a type of virtualization software that allows you to create and manage multiple virtual machines using a single physical host. A.k.a vSphere Hypervisor. ESXi has two versions: free and paid. Free version still requires a license.
  • NSX: networking abstration (e.g. segments, DHCP profiles, etc) used to network together VMs.
  • Tanzu: kubernetes.

ESX and ESXi are equivalent in terms of functionality and performance. The difference lies in the architecture. In ESXi, the Linux-based service console has been replaced with new remote command line interfaces. This offers a way to reduce the on-disk footprint to less than 32 MB (as opposed to 2 GB in ESX 3). In turn, a smaller footprint allows you to reduce the overall attack surface.

ESXi runs on VMs on GCVE (https://cloud.google.com/vmware-engine)

Overall platform / brand vSphere Google Cloud Amazon AWS
management vCenter Cloud Console AWS Console
Hypervisor ESXi KVM / gVisor Xen / Nitro