Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part1

Overview of VMware NSX

VMware NSX is a network virtualization platform that enables you to build a rich set of logical networking services such as Logical Switching, Logical Routing, Logical Firewall, Logical Load Balancer, Logical Virtual Private Network (VPN). NSX enables you to start with your existing network and server hardware in the data center. NSX adds nothing to the physical switching environment. NSX exists in the ESXi environment and is independent of the network hardware.

NSX is a software networking and security virtualization platform that delivers the operational model of a virtual machine for the network. Virtual networks reproduce the Layer2 – Layer7 network model in software. By virtualizing the network, NSX delivers a new operational model for networking that breaks through current physical network barriers and enables data center operators to achieve better speed and agility with reduced costs.

With VMware NSX, virtualization now delivers for networking what it has already delivered for compute and storage. In much the same way that server virtualization programmatically creates, snapshots, deletes and restores software-based virtual machines (VMs), VMware NSX network virtualization programmatically creates, snapshots, deletes, and restores software-based virtual networks.

NSX can be configured through the vSphere Web Client, a command line interface (CLI), and REST API.

An NSX-v deployment consists of a data plane, control plane and management plane:

nsx9

NSX Functional Services

NSX provides a faithful reproduction of network & security services in software. e.g.

NSX10

Preparing for Installation

NSX has the following requirements:

  • vCenter Server 5.5 or later
  • ESXi 5.0 or later for each server
  • VMware Tools

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.

NSX Manager

The NSX Manager is the centralized management component of NSX, and runs as a virtual appliance on an ESXi host. Each NSX Manager manages a single vCenter Server environment. The NSX Manager requires connectivity to the vCenter Server, ESXi host, and NSX Edge instances, vShield Endpoint module, and NSX Data Security virtual machine. NSX components can communicate over routed connections as well as different LANs.

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.

In the NSX for vSphere architecture, the NSX Manager is tightly connected to the vCenter server managing the compute infrastructure. In fact, there is a 1:1 relationship between the NSX Manager and vCenter and upon installation the NSX Manager registers with vCenter and injects a plugin into the vSphere Web Client for consumption within the Web management platform.

NSX Manager Components Plugin and Integration inside vSphere Web Client :-

NSX11

Note :- You can install the NSX Manager in a different vCenter than the one that the NSX Manager will be interoperating with. A single NSX Manager serves a single vCenter Server environment only.

Note :- Each NSX virtual appliance includes VMware Tools. Do not upgrade or uninstall the version of VMware Tools included with a NSX virtual appliance.

Deploy NSX Manager Virtual Appliance :-

1. Download the NSX Manager Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) from https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/downloads.

NSX22. Under Networking & Security section click Download Product for VMware NSX.

NSX33. Select your Version and click Go to Downloads.

NSX44. On the Download VMware NSX for vSphere 6.X Window click Download Now to start downloading of the NSX Manager Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) file.

5. Place the NSX Manager Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) file in a location accessible to your vCenter server and ESXi hosts.

6. Log in to the vSphere Web Client where do you want to Import/Run the NSX Manager.

7. Right-click the Cluster/Host where you want to install NSX Manager and select Deploy OVF Template.

NSX158. If this is the first time you are deploying an OVF file, It will ask you to download the Client Integration Plug-in. Click on Download the Client Integration Plug-in link to download and install. (Close all browser before installation and once completed Log in to the vSphere Web Client again and navigate to the host where you were installing NSX Manager.)

NSX169. On the Select Source window Click Browse to locate the folder on your computer that contains the NSX Manager OVA file, Select the OVA click Open and click Next.

NSXM2

NSXM310. It will take few seconds to validate the OVA. Once validated click Next to continue

NSXM411. Review the OVF template details and click Next.

NSXM612. Click Accept to accept the VMware license agreements and click Next.

NSXM713. Name the NSX Manager and select the location for the NSX Manager that you are installing and Click Next.

NSXM814. Select Storage and Click Next.

NSXM915. On the Setup networks page, confirm that the NSX Manager adapter has been mapped to the correct host network and click Next.

NSXM1016. On the Customized template page, specify the Passwords, Network Properties, DNS, NTP and SSH and Click Next.

NSXM1117. On the Ready to complete page, review the NSX Manager settings, Check the Power On after Deployment and click Finish.

NSXM12The NSX Manager is installed as a virtual machine in the inventory. Once deployment of NSX manager finished we need to Log In to the NSX Manager Virtual Appliance and Configure the NSX Manager.

Log In to the NSX Manager Virtual Appliance:-

1. Open the Web browser window and type the Name/IP address assigned to the NSX Manager. For example, https://nsxmanager.vdca550.com (In my case). Accept the security certificate. The NSX Manager login screen appears.

2. Use User name admin and the password you set during installation. If you had not set a password during installation, type default as the password and Click Log In.

NSXM133. Below is Home Screen of the NSX Manager. As you can see from here we can Manage Appliance Settings, Manage vCenter Registration, Backup and Restore of NSX Manager, and Upgrade NSX Manager Appliance.

NSXM144. Click on the View Summary to View and Configure the NSX Manager.

NSXM155. Click on the Mange Tab. From General Setting you can configure Time (NTP) and Syslog server Settings. Click Edit to enter the details and click ok.

NSXM16Time (NTP) Settings:-

NSXM17Syslog Server Settings:-

NSXM186. Click on Network. You can Review/Edit NSX Manager Network Settings and DNS Server settings for NSX Manager. Click on Edit to Edit the settings and click OK.

NSXM20

NSXM197. Click on SSL Certificates option to configure the SSL Certificate for NSX Manager.

8. Click on Backups and Restore option to take or scheduled Back of NSX manager Data.

NSXM21Note :- Currently there is no option to have multiple NSX managers for redundancy, So Backup is very critical for NSX Manger. In the case of NSX Manager failure you need to Deploy New NSX Manger and Restore the configuration from last backup.

9. To Upgrade your NSX Manager Appliance to latest version Download the Upgrade bundle from VMware website first and then from Upgrade Option in NSX Manager you can Upgrade to latest version. Click Upgrade in the Upgrade NSX Management Service –> Click Browse to select the Upgrade bundle and Click Upgrade to start the upgrade.

NSXM23

NSXM2410. Last and Important Option is NSX Management Service. Click on NSX Management Service –> Under vCenter Server Section click Configure to Register vCenter Server with NSX Manager. Enter vCenter Server Name, User Name and Password and Click OK to Add/Register vCenter Server with NSX Manager.

NSXM2511. Once vCenter Server registration done with NSX Manager We can connect to vCenter Server and verify that Networking & Security Icon under Inventories List.

NSXM2612. Click on the Networking & Security to open up the NSX Home page.

NSXM27And now we are all set to start the use of NSX features.

In the Next Part will discuss Installing and Configuring NSX Components …Please leave your Questions/Comments/Suggestions..Thank you !! 

Other NSX Parts:-

Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part 1

Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part 2

Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part 3

Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part 4

Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part 5

6 thoughts on “Network Virtualization with VMware NSX – Part1

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