NSX Home LAB Part 1

Built the NSX infrastructure

 This Post was updated at:18/10/2014

Thanks To VMware for giving me Today  DELL PRECISION M4800

It’s about time to create my first NSX home lab inside my Laptop.

Lab Hardware Specification for M4800


4th generation Intel® Core™  i7 processors, up to Core i7 Extreme Edition, Intel vPro™ advanced management on select CPUs


4 DIMM slots:  32GB 1600MH

Hard Drive

SSD (Solid state drive)  512GB SATA 6Gb/s

Lab topology from 5,000 feet

Any NSX implementation will need Management Cluster and Compute Cluster.

Lab Topology

Both Layer 3 and Layer 2 transport networks are fully supported by NSX, however to most effectively demonstrate the flexibility and scalability of network virtualization a L3 topology with different routed networks for the Compute and Management/Edge Clusters is recommended.

Management VM Sizing Requirements:

Management VM Sizing

WorkStation VM and Nested VM

Some of the VM will install as Virtual machine inside VMware workstation, other will be part of the Nested ESX installation

Workstation VM Nested VM
vCenter All NSX Component’s
ESXi Host’s Win 2008 A/D,DNS,CA
WAN Router (Olive) Test VM Win7/Linux

WorkStation Network Connectivity

We will use 4 Network Adapters:

WorkStation Network Connectivity

Adapter Name Function Workstation Adapter Name vSphere Function
Network Adpater Management VMnet1 vMotion,VSAN,Management .Active Standby NiC Teaming
Network Adpater 1 Management VMnet1 vMotion,VSAN,ManagementActive Standby NiC Teaming
Network Adpater 2 Tansport Zone VMnet3 VXLAN

NiC Teaming  mode for the Management will set to failover (this is mandatory in Nested environment)

Lab Topology Before NSX

The starting point for this lab assume we know how to install vCetner  and ESX with Distributed switch.

The all lab will run on top VMware Workstation 10.

The vSphere infrastructure will built from 2 ESX Cluster’s.

Management Cluster with 1 ESX Host.

Computes Cluster 3 ESX host’s

Lab Topology Before NSX

Lab vSphere Version’s

For this Lab   we will use ESX 5.5U1 and vCetner will be Virtual Appliance 5.5U1


The Computes Cluster with is 3 ESX host will Create one VSAN Cluster.

There are many blogs in this context, so I will not dwell on this topic

I use   William Lam blog


Since my Hard Drive is SSD, the ESX see all Disk as SSD so needed to change it to None-SSD.

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add –satp VMW_SATP_LOCAL –device mpx.vmhba1:C0:T2:L0 –option “enable_local disable_ssd

esxcli storage core claiming reclaim -d mpx.vmhba1:C0:T2:L0

VSAN Disk Management and DataStore

This VSAN Cluster built from  3 ESX host’s.

Etch Host have 5GB SSD and 25GB None-SSD.


The end results of the Total VSAN Cluster is 48.06 GB


Installing the NSX Manager

NSX Manager

NSX Manager

NSX Manager Role of the NSX Architecture:

The NSX management plane is built by the NSX manager. The NSX manager provides the single point of configuration and the REST API entry-points in a vSphere environment for NSX.

The consumption of NSX can be driven directly via the NSX manager UI. In a vSphere environment this is available via the vSphere Web UI itself. Typically end-users tie in network virtualization to their cloud management platform for deploying applications. NSX provides a rich set of integration into virtually any CMP via the REST API. Out of the box integration is also currently available through VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) and vCloud Director (vCD).

NSX Manager:

• 1:1 mapping between an NSX Manager and vCenter Server (vCenter for one Manager)
• Provides the management UI and API for NSX
• vSphere Web Client Plugin
• Deploys NSX Controller and NSX Edge Virtual Appliances (OVF)
• Installs VXLAN,Distributed Routing and Firewall kernel modules plus UW Agent on ESXi hosts
• Configures Controller Cluster via a REST API and hosts via a message bus

NSX development is very simple  task, all NSX components are built from single OVA image file.

NSX Manager deploy OVA_1

place it at the Management Cluster

NSX Manager deploy OVA_2

For the lab size saving i will use Thin Provision (at Production use thick)
NSX Manager deploy OVA_3

Use the Management Network

NSX Manager deploy OVA_4

Fill in the Password and DNS/NTP

NSX Manager deploy OVA_5

Finalize the Wizard and power up the vm.

NSX Manager deploy OVA_6

After few min we can access the NSX Manager GUI


NSX Manager Configure_1

In the main summary page we can see the services status of the NSX Manager.

All services must be in Running state, except the SSH service.

vPostgress is the built in database for NSX Manager.

RabiitMQ is the BUS messaging from the Manager to other NSX components.

the NSX Manager Service is the main service.

Click on the Manage tab will take us to  General Menu.

The Time sync is critical for the SSO work properly.

The best way is to use NTP, otherwise use  Manual time and time zone.

NSX Manager Configure_2

Backup you NSX manager according to you company backup policy.

NSX Manager Configure_3

Connect NSX Manager to Vcenter

This is the place we create the link between NSX Manager and vCenter.

Confirm that user has administrative privileges.


Lookup Server:

To be able login A/D Users to the NSX manager we will need to configure the SSO lookup server (in My lab the SSO server is running inside the vCenter).

Confirm that the user has admin privileges.

With Lookup Service we can assign different privilege to different users from A/D = Role Base Access Control

want to know how ? read this post

NSX Manager Configure_7

vCenter is just ip, User / Password.

After successfully completed this 2 step’s the results look like this:

NSX Manager Configure_9

if you have problem in the register process read my post:

NSX-V Troubleshooting registration to vCenter


We need to wait around 4 min before the NSX Menu show up in the vCenter GUI.

NSX Manager Configure_10

Summery of Part 1

We install the NSX Manager Image

Register the NSX Manager in the vCenter

Register the SSO service in the vCenter.

The Current topology at the end of part 1 will be:

summery of part 1


Related Post:

NSX Manager

NSX Controller

Host Preparation

Logical Switch

Distributed Logical Router