Learning NSX-Part-2-Installing and Configuring NSX Manager

In last post of this series we had a look into what NSX is and how it fits in a software defined datacenter. We also had a look on core NSX components and discussed in brief about them.

In this post we will be talking about basic installation and configuration options of NSX manager.

NSX manager provides a centralized management plane across your datacenter. It provides the management UI and API for NSX. NSX manager runs as a virtual appliance on an ESXi host and during installation it injects a plugin into the vSphere Web Client through which it can be managed.Each NSX Manager manages a single vCenter Server environment.

There are few prerequisites that must be met before proceeding with installation of NSX manager. These are as follows:

1: vSphere infrastructure should be ready. At least there should be 2 cluster.

2: NSX can be managed only via vSphere Web Client . Make sure you have Web Client installed and ready to use.

3: For NSX 6.X , VMware vCenter Server 5.5 or later is recommended.

4: Make sure DNS and NTP servers are ready in your infrastructure. Also ensure all the components ESXi, vCenter and NSX Manager are in sync time with configured NTP servers. Also all name resolution should be working fine.

5: Ensure you have all the required System Resources (CPU and Memory) available in your cluster to deploy various NSX Components like NSX Manager, Controller,etc.

6: Ensure you have Configured your Distributed Switch to use Jumbo frames i.e. MTU 1600 or more.

Apart from that, NSX requires below ports for installation and daily operations:

  • 443 between the ESXi hosts, vCenter Server, and NSX Manager.
  • 443 between the REST client and NSX Manager.
  • TCP 902 and 903 between the vSphere Web Client and ESXi hosts.
  • TCP 80 and 443 to access the NSX Manager management user interface and initialize the vSphere and NSX Manager connection.
  • TCP 1234 Communication between ESXi Host and NSX Controller Clusters
  • TCP 22 for CLI troubleshooting.

The NSX Manager virtual machine is packaged as an Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) file, which allows you to use the vSphere Web Client to import the NSX Manager into the datastore and virtual machine inventory. VMware NSX can be downloaded from Here


Once NSX manager ova file is downloaded, we can start installation which is just a very straight forward process of deploying any other ova file.


Verify OVF template details and hit Next.


Accept EULA and hit Next.


Provide a name for your NSX manager and hit Next.


Select the cluster where you need to deploy the NSX manager and hit Next.


Select appropriate datastore for your installation and proceed.


If you are testing NSX manager in lab, you can go for thin provisioned scheme. In production it is recommended to go for thick provision deployment scheme.


Map the appropriate network for NSX manager management interface.


On the properties page, provide the password and the IP/Netmask information etc.


Once you have finished configuring all the installation options, power on the VM after deployment. If you launch console of the NSX manager at this moment, you will see the booting process which looks very similar to any other VMware appliance.


Once NSX manager boot process is complete, it can be accessed via https://<NSX FQDN>/login.jsp


At this point we have successfully installed NSX manager. Let’s configure it now.

Once you logged in NSX manager admin console, click on Manage Appliance Settings.



Verify NTP settings. Change the Timezone as per your country.


Verify Network settings and provide if there is any missing info by clicking on Edit button.


Now click on NSX management Service to associate this NSX manager with a vCenter Server.


First configure Lookup Service URL. This is the URL to machine where your PSC is running.

Note that with vSphere 6, lookup service is running on port 443 and not on port 7444.

Provide the Lookup service host, port and SSO admin credentials to configure lookup service. Hit OK once you have filled all relevant fields


Accept the SSL certificate that is presented.


Next is to enter the vCenter details.

NOTE: If the SSO admin is being used to connect NSX to the vCenter, only the SSO admin will have access to the NSX section in the vCenter web client. If you do use the SSO admin to connect, but use a different user to connect to the web client, you will need to login to the web client using the SSO admin first and give the desired user the appropriate permissions to access NSX


Hit OK after entering the vCenter Server details and accept the SSL certificate.


Once both Lookup and vCenter information is provided in NSX Manager,You should be able to see the status as “Connected” with Green light for Lookup service and vCenter Server.


Now click on Summary page to verify all services are running on NSX manager.


We are done with basic NSX manager configuration here. We have to login to vSphere web-client to explore more about NSX.

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