VMware: Expand Support for Opaque Networks


An opaque network was introduced in the vSphere API in version 5.5. This is a network that is managed by a control plane outside of vSphere. The identifier and name of this network is made known to vSphere so that a host and virtual machine ethernet device can be connected to them.

The initial code was added to support the NSX-MH (multi hypervisor) Neutron plugin. This was in commit 2d7520264a4610068630d7664eeff70fb5e8c681. That support would require the configuration of a global integration bridge and ensuring that the network was connected to that bridge. This approach is similar to the way in which this is implemented in the libvirt VIF driver.

In the Liberty cycle, a new plugin was added to the openstack/vmware-nsx repository, this is called NSXv3. This is to support a new NSX backend. This is a multi-hypervisor plugin. The support for libvirt, Xen etc. already exists.

This spec will deal with the compute integration for the VMware VC driver.

Problem description

This spec will deal with the configuration of the Opaque network for the NSXv3 Neutron driver.

Use Cases

This is required for the NSXv3 plugin. Without it Nova will be unable to attach a ethernet device to a virtual machine.

Proposed change

The change is self contained within the VMware driver code and just related to how the ethernet device backing is configured. This is only when the Neutron virtual port is of the type ‘ovs’. The NSXv3 plugin will ensure that the port type is set to ‘ovs’. The VC driver will need to treat this port type.

When the type is ‘ovs’ there are two different flows:

  • If the configuration flag ‘integration_bridge’ is set. This is for the NSX-MH plugin. This requires that the backing type opaqueNetworkId be set as the ‘integration_bridge’; the backing type opaqueNetworkType be set as ‘opaque’.

  • If the flag is not set then this is the NSXv3 plugin. This requires that the backing value opaqueNetworkId be set as the neutron network UUID; the backing type opaqueNetworkType will have value ‘nsx.LogicalSwitch’; and the backing externalId has the neutron port UUID.


  • The help for the configuration option ‘integration_bridge’ will be updated to reflect the values for the different plugins.

  • A log warning will appear if the invalid VC version is used.

  • The above should be done regardless of this support.



Data model impact


REST API impact


Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact


Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

The NSXv3 support will be greenfield.

The NSX-MH will be deprecated in favor of the NSXv3 plugin. As a result of this we will set the default ‘integration_bridge’ value as None. This means that a user running the existing NSX-MH will need to make sure that this value is set. This is something that will be clearly documented.

Developer impact




Primary assignee:


Work Items

The implementation of the changes in Nova can be seen at: https://review.openstack.org/#/c/165750/.


This code depends on the Neutron driver NSXv3 added in the Liberty cycle. This code can be found at https://github.com/openstack/vmware-nsx/blob/master/vmware_nsx/plugins/nsx_v3/plugin.py


The code is tested as part of the Neutron CI testing.

Documentation Impact

We will need to make sure that the release notes are updated to explain the configuration of CONF.vmware.integration_bridge config. As mentioned above that is only relevant to the NSX-MH as the code will be changed to support the NSXv3.