Creating Objects in NSX-T Policy API with VMware PowerCLI

By | 12. November 2019
About VMware PowerCLI

VMware PowerCLI is a command-line and scripting tool built on Windows PowerShell, and provides more than 700 cmdlets for managing and automating vSphere, vCloud, vRealize Operations Manager, vSAN, NSX-T, VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware HCX, VMware Site Recovery Manager, and VMware Horizon environments.

If you would like to learn more about VMware PowerCLI visit VMware {code}.

About NSX-T Policy API

Policy API is a new API introduced in NSX-T 2.4 and belongs to the simplified UI for an easier way to manage the Objects.

It is different from the Old API (aka NSX -T Management Plane API) that belongs to the Advanced Networking & Security UI.

Most of the external Systems (like vRA, Kubernetes, etc.) can use both APIs and it is a question of Time when the Old API will be deprecated.

About SDK Toolkit and PowerCLI

VMware NSX-T generate the CMDLETS with the SDK Toolkit and if a new Version of NSX-T will be available also a new PowerCLI Version will be available with all new functions from NSX-T.

Disclaimer

If you would like to start with PowerCLI you will find a lot of Blogs how you can install PowerCLI on Windows, MAC and Linux. So this will not be Part of this Blog.

If you would like to use PowerCLI for NSX-T in you Production Enviroment, please contact you VMware Representative to clarify the Support Options!

Let’s start with PowerCLI for NSX-T

General Information

You will find four Commandlets if you are searching for NSX-T.

Get-Module "VMware.VimAutomation.Nsx*" -ListAvailable
Connect-NsxtServer
Disconnect-NsxtServer
Get-NsxtPolicyService
Get-NsxtService

But with this four Modules you can modify all Objects in your NSX Manager. If you know how to do it;-)

We would like to create Objects in the Policy API and need the CMDLET “Get-NsxtPolicyService”

Login to your NSX Manager and get Modules

To get all possible Modules from NSX-T we need to login to our NSX Manager

Connect-NsxtServer -Server IP-Address/DNS-Name -User Username -Password password

After the connection was successful you should see following output:

Connect to NSX

Now we can can  list all Modules. This could take some Time to get all Modules (In the Moment 286 Modules). I stored this Modules in a Text File to have them available for later configuration Tasks.

Get-NsxtPolicyService

Create a T1 Router

This Script will create a T1 Router

#Variables for NSX Manager Connection
$nsxmanagerip = "IP_OR_DNS_NAME"
$nsxuser = "USERNAME"
$nsxpasswd = "PASSWORD"
#General Variables
$description = "Created with VMware PowerCLI"
$tag = "powercli"
#Variables for T1 Router
$t1routerid = "NAME_OF_NEW_T1_ROUTER"
$t1routerpath_to_t0_rtr = "/infra/tier-0s/NAME_OF_NEW_T0_ROUTER"
$t1routeradvertisement = @("TIER1_IPSEC_LOCAL_ENDPOINT","TIER1_CONNECTED")
#Connect to NSX Manager
Connect-NsxtServer -Server $nsxmanagerip -User $nsxuser -Password $nsxpasswd
#Retrieve Router Information
$t1routerdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.tier1s
#Set Variables
$t1routerspecification = $t1routerdata.Help.patch.tier1.Create()
$t1routerspecification.description = $description
$t1routerspecification.id = $t1routerid
$t1routerspecification.display_name = $t1routerid
$t1routerspecification.tier0_path = $t1routerpath_to_t0_rtr
$t1routerspecification.route_advertisement_types = $t1routeradvertisement
#Add Tag to the Router
$t1routertag = $t1routerdata.Help.patch.tier1.tags.Element.Create()
$t1routertag.tag = $tag
$t1routerspecification.tags.Add($t1routertag) | Out-Null
#Create T1 Router
$t1routerdata.patch($t1routerspecification.id, $t1routerspecification)

Each Line beginning with “$” will be recognized from PowerShell as a Variable. For single Variables you need to put the content in Quotes. “content” 

If you need to set a list of Variables you will need to set the Variables in brackets starting with the @ symbol. @(“content1″,”content2”)

So set the Variables for the NSX Manager

$nsxmanagerip = "IP_OR_DNS_NAME" 
$nsxuser = "USERNAME" 
$nsxpasswd = "PASSWORD"

Now we create some Variables to find the Objects created by PowerCLI easier

$description = "Created with VMware PowerCLI"
$tag = "powercli"

To create the T1 Router and connect the T1 Router to an existing T0 Router we need the following Variables

$t1routerid = "NAME_OF_NEW_T1_ROUTER" 
$t1routerpath_to_t0_rtr = "/infra/tier-0s/NAME_OF_NEW_T0_ROUTER"
$t1routeradvertisement = @("TIER1_IPSEC_LOCAL_ENDPOINT","TIER1_CONNECTED")

If not done, connect now to the NSX Manager. Otherwise comment this line out

Connect-NsxtServer -Server $nsxmanagerip -User $nsxuser -Password 

The next command will retrieve the Information about the existing T1 Routers , will learn the structure for the input variables and set the Variable to create in the last step the T1 Router

$t1routerdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.tier1s

Now we can display all T1 Routers and the underlying Information to understand the Structure and the needed Information

$t1routerdata.list().results

Example Output:

You can also ask for the mandatory Objects

$t1routerdata | Get-Member

The important one is “patch”. You can see that you will need the tier1_id and the tier1 information to update or create a T1 router.

We need to create a Variable to store the Router Specifications

$t1routerspecification = $t1routerdata.Help.patch.tier1.Create()

After we executed this command we can check what kind of Inputs are available to create the T1 Router

$t1routerspecification

You can see all Input Parameter and also the expected Structure.

“String” means single input, “List<string>” means single or multiple inputs and “boolean” means yes or no.

Input Parameter  with “com.vmware.” are child or nested objects and need to be set in a different way. We will do this if we add the TAG to the T1 Router.

We will set the Router Variables

$t1routerspecification.description = $description
$t1routerspecification.id = $t1routerid
$t1routerspecification.display_name = $t1routerid
$t1routerspecification.tier0_path = $t1routerpath_to_t0_rtr
$t1routerspecification.route_advertisement_types = $t1routeradvertisement

Now let’s come to the Child/Nested objects. The command looks similar to the command where we  created a Variable to store the Router Specifications, but we drill one step deeper in the structure and define the input with Element

$t1routertag = $t1routerdata.Help.patch.tier1.tags.Element.Create()

And now we can set also the Tag

$t1routertag.tag = $tag
The next Variable will attach the Child Variables to the Router Specifications.  “| Out-Null” will suppress the Output “0” if I run the script.
$t1routerspecification.tags.Add($t1routertag) | Out-Null
Let’s check if we see all Variables before we create the T1 Router
$t1routerspecification

Now we are ready to create the Router

$t1routerdata.patch($t1routerspecification.id, $t1routerspecification)

If the command runs without any error message, your input was correct and you created a new T1 Router. But let us check if this is true;-)…. Login to your NSX Manager and type in the search bar “powercli”.

You should see some results like this

Create a Logical Segment

This Script will create a Logical Segment

#Variables for NSX Manager Connection
$nsxmanagerip = "IP_OR_DNS_NAME"
$nsxuser = "USERNAME"
$nsxpasswd = "PASSWORD"
#General Variables
$description = "Created with VMware PowerCLI"
$tag = "powercli"
#Variables for Segment
$segmentid = "SEGMENTNAME"
$transportzone = "/infra/sites/default/enforcement-points/default/transport-zones/TRANSPORTZONEID"
$path_to_t1_rtr = "/infra/tier-1s/T1ROUTERNAME"
$defaultgateway = "IP-ADDRESS/MASK"
#Connect to NSX Manager
Connect-NsxtServer -Server $nsxmanagerip -User $nsxuser -Password $nsxpasswd
#Retrieve Segment Information
$segmentdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.segments
#Set Variables
$segmentdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.segments
$segmentspecification = $segmentdata.Help.patch.segment.Create()
$segmentspecification.description = $description
$segmentspecification.id = $segmentid
$segmentspecification.transport_zone_path = $transportzone
$segmentspecification.connectivity_path = $path_to_t1_rtr
#Set Default Gateway Variables
$subnetSpec = $segmentdata.help.patch.segment.subnets.Element.Create()
$subnetSpec.gateway_address = $defaultgateway
$segmentspecification.subnets.Add($subnetSpec) | Out-Null
#Add Tag to the Segment
$segmenttag = $segmentdata.help.patch.segment.tags.Element.Create()
$segmenttag.tag = $tag
$segmentspecification.tags.Add($segmenttag) | Out-Null
#Create Segment
$segmentdata.patch($segmentid, $segmentspecification)

I will only explain the Details for the Segment. To create the Segment we need the following Variables.

$segmentid = "SEGMENTNAME"
$transportzone = "/infra/sites/default/enforcement-points/default/transport-zones/TRANSPORTZONEID"

To find out the Transport Zone UUID you can check this in your NSX Manager: System->Fabric->Transport Zones

The Routername can be the T1 Router you created earlier and the Defaultgateway Address will be used for the VMs connected to this segment.

$path_to_t1_rtr = "/infra/tier-1s/T1ROUTERNAME"
$defaultgateway = "IP-ADDRESS/MASK"

If not already connected you need to connect to your  NSX Manager. Otherwise you should comment this line out

Connect-NsxtServer -Server $nsxmanagerip -User $nsxuser -Password $nsxpasswd

The next command will retrieve the Information about the existing Segments, will learn the structure for the input variables and set the Variable to createthe Segment in the last step

$segmentdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.segments

Now we can use following commands to get more Information regarding the Structure

$segmentdata.list().results
$segmentdata | Get-Member

We will now create the Variables needed for the Segment

$segmentspecification = $segmentdata.Help.patch.segment.Create()
$segmentspecification.description = $description
$segmentspecification.id = $segmentid
$segmentspecification.transport_zone_path = $transportzone
$segmentspecification.connectivity_path = $path_to_t1_rtr

To set the Default Gateway Information we drill one step deeper in the structure and define the input with Element

$subnetSpec = $segmentdata.help.patch.segment.subnets.Element.Create()
$subnetSpec.gateway_address = $defaultgateway
$segmentspecification.subnets.Add($subnetSpec) | Out-Null

We will do the same for the Segment Tag

$segmenttag = $segmentdata.help.patch.segment.tags.Element.Create()
$segmenttag.tag = $tag
$segmentspecification.tags.Add($segmenttag) | Out-Null

The Last step will create the new Segment

$segmentdata.patch($segmentid, $segmentspecification)

Let’s check if the script was successful

Create Groups

This Script will create a Group and using Group Member Attributes

#Variables for NSX Manager Connection
$nsxmanagerip = "IP_OR_DNS_NAME"
$nsxuser = "USERNAME"
$nsxpasswd = "PASSWORD"
#General Variables
$description = "Created with VMware PowerCLI"
$tag = "powercli"
#Variables for Groups
$groupdomain = "default"
$groupid = "GROUP_NAME"
$groupmember = "SCOPE_NAME|TAG_NAME"
$groupmember_type = "VirtualMachine"
#Connect to NSX Manager
Connect-NsxtServer -Server $nsxmanagerip -User $nsxuser -Password $nsxpasswd
#Retrieve Group Information
$groupdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.domains.groups
#Set Group Variables
$groupspecification = $groupdata.Help.patch.group.Create()
$groupspecification.display_name = $groupid
$groupspecification.description = $description
#Add Group Member Variables
$groupexpspecification = $groupdata.Help.patch.group.expression.Element.condition.Create()
$groupexpspecification.member_type = $groupmember_type
$groupexpspecification.value = $groupmember
$groupexpspecification.key="Tag"
$groupexpspecification.operator = "EQUALS"
$groupspecification.expression.Add($groupexpspecification) | Out-Null
#Add TAG to Group
$grouptag = $groupdata.Help.patch.group.tags.Element.Create()
$grouptag.tag = $tag
$groupspecification.tags.Add($grouptag) | Out-Null
#Create Group
$groupdata.patch($groupdomain, $groupid, $groupspecification)

To create the group we need the following Variables. The Domain should be “default” and will be inserted the URL String . Please be aware that domain and Membertype are Case Sensitive.

$groupdomain = "default"
$groupid = "GROUP_NAME"
$groupmember = "SCOPE_NAME|TAG_NAME"
$groupmember_type = "VirtualMachine"

The next command will retrieve the Information about the existing Groups, will learn the structure for the input variables and create the Variable to create the Segment in the last step

$groupdata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.domains.groups

We will now create the Variables for the Group.

$groupspecification = $groupdata.Help.patch.group.Create()
$groupspecification.display_name = $groupid
$groupspecification.description = $description

Define the Group Criterias

$groupexpspecification = $groupdata.Help.patch.group.expression.Element.condition.Create()
$groupexpspecification.member_type = $groupmember_type
$groupexpspecification.value = $groupmember
$groupexpspecification.key="Tag"
$groupexpspecification.operator = "EQUALS"
$groupspecification.expression.Add($groupexpspecification) | Out-Null

Again we will tag the Group with the Word “powercli”

$grouptag = $groupdata.Help.patch.group.tags.Element.Create()
$grouptag.tag = $tag
$groupspecification.tags.Add($grouptag) | Out-Null

And create the Group with the additional Variable $groupdomain for the URL String

$groupdata.patch($groupdomain, $groupid, $groupspecification)

 

Create a Firewall Section and Rule

This Script will create a Firewall Section and a Rule
#Variables for NSX Manager Connection
$nsxmanagerip = "IP_OR_DNS_NAME"
$nsxuser = "USERNAME"
$nsxpasswd = "PASSWORD"
#General Variables
$description = "Created with VMware PowerCLI"
$tag = "powercli"
#Variables for Firewallentries
$secdomain = "default"
$policysectionid = "FW_SECTION_NAME"
$rulename = "FW_RULE_NAME"
$source = "/infra/domains/default/groups/GROUPNAME"
$destination = "any"
$service = "any"
$action = "ALLOW"
#Connect to NSX Manager
Connect-NsxtServer -Server $nsxmanagerip -User $nsxuser -Password $nsxpasswd
#Retrieve Firewall Section and Rule Information
$secpolicydata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.domains.security_policies
#Set Firewall Variables
$secpolicyspecification = $secpolicydata.Help.patch.security_policy.Create()
$secpolicyspecification.description = $description
$secpolicyspecification.display_name = $policysectionid
#Set Rule Variables
$secpolicyrule = $secpolicydata.Help.patch.security_policy.rules.Element.Create()
$secpolicyrule.description = $description
$secpolicyrule.display_name = $rulename
$secpolicyrule.source_groups = @($source)
$secpolicyrule.destination_groups = @($destination)
$secpolicyrule.services = @($service)
$secpolicyrule.action = $action
$secpolicyspecification.rules.Add($secpolicyrule) | Out-Null
#Add TAG to Firewall Section
$secpolicytag = $secpolicydata.Help.patch.security_policy.tags.Element.Create()
$secpolicytag.tag = $tag
$secpolicyspecification.tags.Add($secpolicytag) | Out-Null
#Create Firewall Section and Rule
$secpolicydata.patch($secdomain, $policysectionid, $secpolicyspecification)

We will create a Firewall Section and in the Section the Firewall Rule.

$secdomain = "default"
$policysectionid = "FW_SECTION_NAME"
$rulename = "FW_RULE_NAME"
$source = "/infra/domains/default/groups/GROUPNAME"
$destination = "any"
$service = "any"
$action = "ALLOW"

Retrieve Firewall Information

$secpolicydata = Get-NsxtPolicyService -Name com.vmware.nsx_policy.infra.domains.security_policies

Set Variables for the Firewall Section

$secpolicyspecification = $secpolicydata.Help.patch.security_policy.Create()
$secpolicyspecification.description = $description
$secpolicyspecification.display_name = $policysectionid

Set Variables for the Firewall Rule

$secpolicyrule = $secpolicydata.Help.patch.security_policy.rules.Element.Create()
$secpolicyrule.description = $description $secpolicyrule.display_name = $rulename
$secpolicyrule.source_groups = @($source)
$secpolicyrule.destination_groups = @($destination)
$secpolicyrule.services = @($service)
$secpolicyrule.action = $action
$secpolicyspecification.rules.Add($secpolicyrule) | Out-Null

Tag the Firewall Section

$secpolicytag = $secpolicydata.Help.patch.security_policy.tags.Element.Create()
$secpolicytag.tag = $tag
$secpolicyspecification.tags.Add($secpolicytag) | Out-Null

Create the Firewall Section and the Rule

$secpolicydata.patch($secdomain, $policysectionid, $secpolicyspecification)

I hope this will help you to start with VMware PowerCLI and NSX-T

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Daniel Stich

Senior Specialist Solutions Engineer - Network Virtualization and Security at VMware global Inc.

Daniel kommt aus Wuppertal und ist seit 20+ Jahren im klassichen Routing und Switching unterwegs. Seit 2013 liegt sein Schwerpunkt auf Datacenter Networking und beschäftig sich seitdem mit Software Defined Networking.
Seit 2017 ist Daniel als NSX Solutions Engineer bei VMware und kümmert sich schwerpunktmäßig um das Thema NSX für Software Defined Datacenter, Public Cloud und Kubernetes.
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