NSX for Newbies – Part 3: Install NSX Manager

Installing NSX  Manager is “JAOD” (Just Another OVA Deployment) which can easily be summarised as Import > Next > Next > Finish.
Having said that I don’t hide I had some issues during my first installation so I’m covering the process here, step by step, with screenshot.

Get the OVA file

This is probably the most difficult part because, as of today (08 Jan 2015) you still cannot get a standard 60-days trial from VMware’s website. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot I can do here, apart from suggesting you to contact your VMware Account Manager or Partner Manager (if you’re a partner) and maybe they can get you a trial

Deploy the OVA

Browse the local .ova file and select it

Review the details and accept the EULA

Give it a name and select the location within the datacenter

Select the a the resource pool or cluster where you want to run NSX Manager (would normally be the Management Cluster)

Select the datastore and the disk format

Select the Network Port Group

Last but not least, customise the template choosing password, hostname and network settings (NTP servers are really important!!)

Make yourself a coffee and come back after 10-15 minutes 🙂

NSX Manager: Initial configuration

Once NSX Manager is up and running we need to complete the initial configuration, which includes:

  1. [OPTIONAL] Configure Syslog Server
  2. Configure the Lookup Service (that you need if you want to use your existing SSO server)
  3. Register NSX Manager against vCenter Server
  4. License NSX Manager

All the following tasks are accomplished from the NSX Manager web interface which can be access at https://<FQDN-NSX-MANAGER

1.Syslog Server

If you have one you can configure from Manage > General

2.Lookup Service
From the home page of NSX Manager, go to Manage > NSX Management Service > Lookup Service > Edit

Configure your SSO parameters and click

You’ll be prompted to trust the certificate so click on Yes at the question “Proceed with this certificate”

then Yes again at the following (accept the fingerprint and make sure it’s correct)

3.vCenter Server registration
Again Manage > NSX Management Service > vCenter Server > Edit and provide the vCenter Server FQDN, username (UPN) and password

Make sure you use the User Principal Name (UPN) for the username otherwise it won’t work!

I personally find good and reasonable to have a dedicated service account just for NSX Manager so I have created a domain username called nsxmgr-svc.
The UPN is nsxmgr-srv@cloudlab.local

The service account must be entitled on vCenter Server as Administrator.

It must also be allowed to login into NSX Manager. You accomplish this by logging into vCenter Server with SSO Administrator credentials, then from the home page select Networking & Security > NSX Manager > Select from the left IP address of NSX Manager > tab Manage > Users > + symbol and add the service username

4.License NSX Manager
This is done from the vSphere Web Client, select your vCenter Server then under Licensing select Licenses, tab Solutions

That’s it, you’re ready for the next steps, see my next post NSX for Newbies – Part 4: Preparing for Virtual Networking

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