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Chris Hall

Principal Technical Consultant

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Chris Hall Nutanix Certified Master - Multicloud Infrastructure 6 Chris Hall VMware vExpert 2024 Chris Hall VMware vExpert NSX 2023 Chris Hall Nutanix Certified Professional - Multicloud Infrastructure 6 Chris Hall Nutanix Certified Professional - Unified Storage 6 Chris Hall VMware vExpert 2023 Chris Hall VMware vExpert 2022

NSX-T Logo In this post we will look at installing NSX as a plug-in to vCenter server, as promised a while ago.

Historically, NSX-T or just NSX as it is now known as was installed as a separate entity and managed away from vCenter and the vSphere client.

Since the releases of vSphere 7.0 Update 3 and NSX 3.2.0, NSX can now be installed and managed in the vSphere client via a vCenter plug-in in much the same way as the previous VMware network virtualisation product, NSX-v used to be.

First off, let’s take a look around our environment prior to NSX deployment.

Overview

vSphere Environment

vSphere 8.0 environment consisting of one ESXi 8.0 and one vCenter 8.0 server:

Environment 1

A single version 8.0 vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) handling all connectivity via two uplink NICs:

Environment 1a

VDS topology:

Environment 2

NSX Deployment

OK, let’s download the correct NSX installer from the VMware software portal. In this article I’ll be deploying NSX v4.0.1.1 into my vSphere 8.0 environment:

Select NSX Manager vCenter Plugin

Next, from the vSphere Client menu, select the NSX option:

Select NSX

The install wizard starts. Select Install NSX:

Select Install NSX

Supply location of downloaded NSX Manager with vCenter Plug-in OVA file:

Find Downloaded File

Name the VM and select an inventory location for the VM to reside:

Name VM

Select the ESXi Host (if DRS not enabled for your cluster):

Select Compute Resource

Confirm access to vCenter Server:

Confirm vCenter Access

Select NSX Manager VM deployment size. For sizing requirements, see NSX 4.0 Manager VM Resource Requirements:

Select Manager Size

Select datastore for the NSX Manager VM:

Select Storage

Select management network for the NSX Manager VM:

Select Network

Complete the required information. At a minimum, you need to provide NSX Manager:

  • Root account password
  • Hostname
  • IP address details (if not using DHCP)
  • DNS details
  • NTP details

Complete Details

Select vCenter to associate NSX with:

Associate vCenter

Review and finish NSX manager deployment wizard:

Ready to Complete

Allow some time for the NSX-T manager VM to complete it’s first boot activities and initial configuration. In normal circumstances this can take around 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Start NSX Onboarding

After refreshing the browser to load the NSX plug-in, Select NSX from the vSphere Client menu again:

Select Installed NSX Plug In

Welcome indeed! Let’s supply our licence key:

Add Licence Key

Finally we arrive at the Getting Started Wizard page:

Select one of the recommended use cases to configure NSX

As a check, yes we can also browse and login directly to our newly deployed NSX manager:

NSX Manager Interface

Options

For those who don’t wanna follow no crazy wizard!!1! - that is those of a more hardcore or “back to basics” type of disposition, wishing to learn about the NSX installation process and the configuration that makes up an NSX deployment from the ground up by doing it manually, check out the following:

Manual NSX Installation: Security Only (also known as a Micro-Segmentation installation):

Manual NSX Installation: Virtual Networking (also known as an Overlay installation):

Automated NSX Installation: For those that don’t want to follow an NSX wizard OR complete a manual install:

Where we complete an NSX virtual networking installation using PowerShell and NSX API calls alone!

Options, options. Plenty of options!

Conclusion and Wrap Up

That will do it for this post. In upcoming posts we will follow the security only and virtual networking wizards to complete our NSX installs.

-Chris