I came into this session looking for exactly what the title was claiming–a practical path to NSX–which would help me to identify a practical reason for it. Using that as the bar for judgment, I would say that the speakers succeeded, with some qualifications.
The most valuable “proof” of success was the initial demo that isolated Windows Server 2003 guests by grouping them and applying a security policy, rather than the non-NSX alternative of re-IP’ing in a separate VLAN and firewalling that way. It was clean and if it was my use case, I’d vote for NSX as the way.
The next demo bridged server/rack pods and attempted to prove similar simplicity, but fell short. Sure, the engineer clicked and typed very quickly such that he accomplished his objective in <4 minutes, but that speed implied a lot of knowledge and training on implementing NSX. That’s not the same as being easy. That’s partly okay, because everything isn’t easy. They would have been better to state that.
My personal takeaway was the value of NSX as applied to forming a seamless L2 or L3 network out of multiple data centers. That’s a use case I can take to the bank. Considering the unstated cost of NSX, I think a bank may indeed be an integral step :). Anyways, this was a session worth attending, or if you’re reading this later, a session worth watching online. Enjoy.