The vSmart controller is the brains of the centralized control plane for the Viptela overlay network, maintaining a centralized routing table and centralized routing policy. Once the network is operational, the vSmart controller effects its control by maintaining a direct DTLS control plane connection to each vEdge router. The vSmart controller runs as a virtual machine (VM) on a network server. It can also run as a container within a vContainer host. To create a vContainer host, see Deploy the vContainer Host.
A Viptela overlay network can have one or more vSmart controllers. The vSmart controllers provide a means to control the flow of data traffic throughout the overlay network. It is recommended that an overlay network have at least two vSmart controllers to provide redundancy. A single vSmart controller can support up to 2,000 control sessions (that is, up to 2,000 TLOCs). A vManage NMS or vManage cluster can support up to 20 vSmart controllers in the overlay network.
To deploy a vSmart controller:
- Create a vSmart VM instance, either on an ESXi or a KVM hypervisor.
- Create a minimal configuration for the vSmart controller, to allow it to be accessible on the network. You do this by using SSH to open a CLI session to the vSmart controller and manually configuring the device.
- Add the vSmart controller to the overlay network so that the vManage NMS is aware of it.
- Create a full configuration for the vSmart controller. You do this by creating a vManage template for the vSmart controller and attaching that template to the controller. When you attach the vManage template, the initial minimal configuration is overwritten.