VMware NSX installation flow chart diagrams

[22 August 2015: updated to include NSX 6.2 deployment with 2 vCenter Servers at the end]

There are many great NSX installation blogs and videos. My favourite is this series by Sid Smith. My friend Roshan Jha has also detailed it here. In this post I will just post the flow chart diagrams. I could not find a diagram, so I created them.

Installation flow

From the above, you can see it’s pretty straight forward. I’m showing some tasks as parallel as the order does not matter. Otherwise, the sequence matters.

Please note that you cannot manually configure VXLAN. You have to let NSX configures it for you. You can manually configure the VXLAN custom TCP/IP stack, but you cannot configure the vmkernel interface.

Ray Budavari, someone I highly respect for his NSX knowledge, corrected me that NSX supports multiple sites. He did a presentation at VMworld 2014, which you can find here. Now that NSX 6.2 is out, you can do this even easier.

Once you have NSX deployed, it’s time to define the virtual network. There are 2 key virtual appliances that you need to deploy:

  1. Distributed Logical Router
  2. Edge Services

Here is the flow chart for Distributed Logical Router:


Here is the flow chart for Edge Services:


The above works for NSX 6.x and NSX 6.2 in a single vCenter setup. What about if you want to do the federation across multiple vCenter Servers? This is a new feature in NSX 6.2. Let’s cover the installation flow, as it obviously has to change a bit.

NSX 6.2 multi-vCenter setup

The main installation is very similar. Basically, you’re installing it 2x. You will have 2 NSX Managers, not 1. Each is paired to the respective vCenter. To me, this makes sense as it’s consistent with SRM. SRM does not assume anything is available when disaster strikes. So it’s not expecting you to have the SRM server not vCenter Server. There is a duplicate copy on each site.

In the diagram below, you see that you have 2 streams of installation. However, there is a step where you need to link the 2 NSX Manager. I’ve shown where you do the pairing between the 2 NSX Managers.

Installation flow 6.2

You may notice that I left a blank box on where the “Deploy NSX Controller” on the passive NSX Manager. This is because you do not have to deploy it. Ray Budavari and Moe Thwin spotted the mistake. [Thank you gentlemen!]

There is a new status called Primary and Secondary. You make the changes by clicking on the Actions icon, as shown below.

NSX Manager 2

What does it look like when it’s paired?

NSX Manager

Hope it helps. The above is certainly not the end of SDN. You still need to connect your Distributed Router to your Edge.

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