DefinIT

NSX-T 2.0 Lab Build: Adding a vCenter Compute Manager and Preparing Hosts

Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab – if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs!

Lab Environment

This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.

Physical, virtual and nested components of the NSX-T lab

Deployment Plan

I will follow the deployment plan from the NSX-T 2.0 documentation:

  • Install NSX Manager.
  • Install NSX Controllers.
    • Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.
    • Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.
    • Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.
  • Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.
  • Install NSX Edges.
    • Join NSX Edges with the management plane.
  • Create transport zones and transport nodes.

When this post series is complete, the network topology should be something like this, with two hostswitches configured. The ESXi Hosts will have a Tunnel Endpoint IP address, as will the Edge. The Edge will also have an interface configured for a VLAN uplink.

The NSX-T Transport Node network configuration

In this post I will walk through configuring the Transport Zone, Transport Nodes, Edge Cluster and other configuration required to support the deployment.

Adding a vCenter Compute Manager

I’ve already shown the manual process for adding an ESXi host – the simpler way if you’re a vCenter environment is to use a Compute Manager.

To add a new Compute Manager, expand Fabric and select Compute Managers. Enter the vCenter name, DNS/IP, select vCenter as the type and enter the credentials. You can either obtain the vCenter’s SSL thumbprint manually and enter it into the Thumbprint box, or you can click save and NSX will prompt you to check that it’s the correct thumbprint

Validate the thumbprint is correct and accept

After 30 seconds or so, the compute manager has registered and is connected

Preparing ESXi Hosts from NSX Manager

Select the Nodes page under Fabric, then use the Managed by drop down list to select the newly added Compute Manager. Click Configure Cluster to bring up the dialogue. You can configure the Transport Node from this wizard, however I will be manually performing this step later in this series. Ensure the Automatically Install NSX is Enabled and click Save. This will begin preparing all the hosts in the cluster.

To prepare hosts individually you need to uncheck the vSphere cluster and select the host you wish to install, however, for hosts managed by vCenter it is recommended you use the above method.

After a couple of minutes, NSX is installed and the Manager connection is up