Learning NSX-Part-4-Preparing Esxi Hosts and Cluster

In previous posts of this series, we talked about NSX Manager and NSX Controllers Deployment and also validated NSX Control Cluster status.

If you have missed earlier posts of this series you can read them from here:

1: Introduction to VMware NSX

2: Installing and Configuring NSX Manager

3: Deploying NSX Controllers

In this post we are going to learn about how to prepare Clusters and Esxi Hosts for NSX.

At this point we have NSX manager and controllers ready and established connection between control and management plane. Next step is to prepare cluster and Esxi hosts.

NSX installs three vSphere Installation Bundles (VIB) that enable NSX functionality to the host. One VIB enables the layer 2 VXLAN functionality, 2nd VIB enables the distributed router, and the 3rd VIB enables the distributed firewall. After adding the VIBs to a distributed switch, that distributed switch is called VMware NSX Virtual Switch.

Login to vCenter Server using vSphere Web Client and Navigate to Networking & Security > Installation > Host Preparation. Choose your cluster and click the Install link.

Once you click on install option, NSX will start installing the VIB’s on the Esxi hosts that are part of the cluster.


Give it a few seconds to install the VIB’s. Once installation is completed you can see Installation status as OK and also Firewall status as enabled.


At this point VXLAN is not configured and we will cover this part in next section.

Verify Status of NSX VIBs

You can verify the VIBs installation by logging onto Esxi hosts using ssh.

You can use following commands to check status of NSX VIBs

# esxcli software vib list | grep vxlan

# esxcli software vib list | grep vsip


You can also get detailed information about these VIBs by using command

# esxcli software vib get | less

You have to navigate through the output to search for vxlan and vsip VIBs info



Verifying NSX User World Agent (UWA) Status:

The user world agent (UWA) is composed of the netcpad and vsfwd daemons on the ESXi host. UWA Uses SSL to communicate with NSX Controller on the control plane. UWA Mediates between NSX Controller and the hypervisor kernel modules,except the distributed firewall. Communication related to NSX between the NSX Manager instance or the NSX Controller instances and the ESXi host happen through the UWA. UWA Retrieves information from NSX Manager through the message bus agent.

You can verify the status of User World agents (UWA) using the below command:

# /etc/init.d/netcpad status


On doing esxtop, we can verify the netcpa deamon is running


Post completion of Cluster Preparation, you can see the vxlan is loaded under custom stacks in TCP/IP configuration of the ESXi hosts.


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