VMware NSX for vSphere Deployment Guide (Part 1)

VMware NSX for vSphere was announced at VMworld 2013.  The surprising thing is there is not a lot of information available on how to install and configure it.  So I set off on this venture and I thought I would share the information.  NSX for vSphere is a combination of technologies from the traditional vCloud Network & Security (vCNS) as well as technologies from the Nicera acquisition. The underlying overlay protocol that NSX for vSphere uses is VXLAN, but it takes VXLAN to the next level by allowing unicast VXLAN and eliminates the requirement for multicast routing.

I will have a four post series on the steps from A to Z on how to install and configure NSX for vSphere.  This first post will focus on how to install the NSX Manager.  The NSX Manager is the API interface to the NSX Control Cluster.  The NSX Manager comes in the form of an OVA template.

One important detail is if you have not previously deployed from an OVF, you will need to download the VMware Client Integration Plug-in, close all browser windows, install the VMware Client Integration Plugin-in, then log back into the the web UI and continue with the OVA deployment.

Start the OVF import process and the first screen you are presented with is the template selection screen:


Choose “Local File” and browse the OVA for the NSX Manager.  The next screen will be the OVF template details.  You need to be sure to check the checkbox for “Accept extra configuration options:


The next step in the OVA wizard is the EULA.  Accept this:


The next step will be deciding what the NSX Manager VM will be named and which it will be stored in.


The next step will be deciding on which datastore the VM will reside


The next step will be attaching the NSX Manager VM to the correct management network.  VMware best practice here is to ensure that this remains a VLAN backed network.


The next step will be entering all the customization settings, the first part of which is entering all the passwords to be used:


Then enter all the hostname and IP information.  The IP used here must be available on the VLAN that you selected in step 2C:


Next is the DNS servers:


And the last piece of information needed is the NTP servers.  Be sure to enable SSH here (this will be disabled later)


The last screen of the deploy wizard is the Ready to complete screen.  It will show all of the settings that you selected earlier for final review.  The screen shot below has been scrubbed of settings for obvious security reasons.


After the deploy process is done you will see this in the recent tasks pane of the web client UI.


We are now finished with the deployment of the NSX Manager appliance.  My next post will cover the deployment of the NSX control cluster.

Blake Parker

Leave a Reply