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Section 1.1.1 - Deploy NSX Manager

Section 1 Deploy NSX Manager

1.1  -   Deploy Vmware NSX Components

Vmware NSX is comprised of 3 components - NSX Manager,  Controllers,  Kernel modules.

- NSX Manager provides all the tools needed to deploy and manage your NSX deployment.  It is the UI, the API endpoint and the management tool.

- NSX Controllers are required for all of the Layer 2 functions.  They are deployed in 3 node active/active/active clusters.  They are the source of truth for all the logical switching functions.

- Kernel Modules are installed on the ESX hosts and are responsible for doing the actual work at the hypervisor layer.

We will get into more detail on these 3 components later on.  Let's start with deploying the NSX manager.   The NSX can be deployed in a separate VLAN, but I prefer to deploy to the same VLAN as my vCenter server, it minimizes firewall rule issues.   If you are going to deploy it in a VLAN other than the one that holds your vCenter ensure you have the proper ports open between them. A full list of ports can be found here:   https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2079386


Ok,  on to the NSX manager install

Deploying an NSX manager is done through the OVF deploy tool.  I use the WebClient for all my work (or as much as I can)  If you do too, you will need to be sure that the Client Integration Plugin is installed.

1.  Select the folder in your vCenter where you want to deploy your NSX manager. and Right Click -> Deploy OVF Template.

2. Select the folder where you are storing the NSX manager OVA.  Choose Open.

3. Accept the EULA and Click next.

4.  You will need to select the cluster for the deployments.  I usually run the manager on the Edge cluster.   We will discuss Vmware Datacenter design in a future post.   My Datacenters have at a minimum of an Edge cluster and 1 Production cluster.  The Edge Cluster runs all the NSX components and Edge gateways.

5. Select your Datastore for the NSX Manager to live on.

6. Select your portgroup for the NSX manager.  Again, I like to keep it in the same network as the vCenter but it's your network you decide.

7.  Next you will need to fill out the additional import parameters.   You will have a page that asks for the following information:

  - admin account Password

  - CLI password

  - NSX manager hostname

  -  IP address/info for the NSX manager

  - DNS and NTP info

Click on next then finish the deployment.   Once the import is complete we will need to login to the NSX management page and link it to vCenter.   Depending on your datacenter this can take a little time.   My Imports usually run 5-10 min, then the NSX manager will need to boot,  the NSX components take another 5-10 min to start before they are ready for the next steps.

    Congratulations, you now should have the NSX Manager online.  Nice and simple, but you are not done yet.   The next step is to register NSX with vCenter and allow it to install the Web Client plugins.   The Web Client is REQUIRED for NSX, there is no C# or fat client plugin for NSX.  There are PowerCLI modules, but that is outside the scope of this document.

Next we will register NSX to the vCenter and install the plugin.

Registering NSX and installing the plugins is very simple and probably the shortest part of installing NSX.

1.   Login to the NSX Manager: https://<nsxmgr or IP>.  The username is admin and provide the password you supplied during the OVA import phase.

2.  Click on the Manage vCenter registration button.   If the NSX services are not yet online you will see a block of red text at the top asking you to wait and try again later.

3.  If everything is online you will see 2 sections.  The top section should have an edit button and it is looking for the Lookup service.   Provide the IP or hostname of the host that holds your inventory services and the administrator login/password.   You will be prompted to accept the certifiicate presented.    Click yes to continue.   After a period of time (usually 5-20 sec)  you will be returned to the previous screen and you will see the Lookup server box populated.

4.  Next click on the configure button above the vCenter box and provide the hostname or IP and admin credentials for your vCenter.  Accept the SSL certificate for that also.

5.   Logout and back in to your vCenter WebCliet.  You will see the NSX plugin.

You now have installed the NSX manager and registered it to your vCenter server.

The NSX Manager is also where you configure your backups for the NSX config, your local time zone, Syslog server, SSL certificates and Upgrade your NSX.  We will cover those topic a little later.

Next we will configure NSX on our clusters and get ready to deploy the controllers.