NSX-T Part 1 : NSX Manager and Controllers Installation

I am starting with this blog series in which I will be detailing the steps of NSX-T installation in my lab environment which will be later used for PKS installation and integration..

In Part1 , I am deploying NSX manager followed by 3 NSX controllers and connecting them to NSX manger. This deployment is based on the latest NSX-T release 2.2 and currently on ESXi. I will be adding KVM transport nodes to the setup at a later stage.

I have downloaded NSX-T manager 2.2 OVA for ESXi  and NSX-T controllers OVA for ESXi from VMware website : https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?productId=673&downloadGroup=NSX-T-220

In my lab, I have 4 ESXi nodes running VSAN on which the deployment will proceed. I have created 5 nested ESXi host will be used as transport nodes for the NSX-T deployment.

Deployment of NSX-T manager is pretty straightforward ova deployment which will require IP address, DNS, NTP entries. After the deployment of the NSX manager booting up, we can login into the NSX-T manager, and check the status of the interface.

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After the NSX-T manager is deployed , its time for NSX-T controllers to be deployed. Again, NSX-T controllers for ESXi are OVA as well and then 3 of them are deployed on ESXi as below.

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After the NSX-T controllers are deployed, we need to confirm its reachability to NSX-T manager before we can go ahead with the steps of connecting controllers with NSX-T manager.

Connect to NSX-T manager SSH, and run the below command to get thumbprint:

#nsxt-mgr > get certificate api thumbprint

After that, connect using SSH to each of the NSX controller’s and run the below command:

#nsxt-controller1 > join management-plane NSX-Manager-IP-address username admin thumbprint <NSX-Manager-thumbprint>

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After joining the NSX-T controllers to the NSX-T manager, verify the result by running the “get managers”  command.

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On the NSX-T manager , run the below command to check that NSX controllers are listed.

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Once, all the NSX controllers are connected to NSX manager, then a NSX-T controller needs to be set as the master and the control cluster needs to be initialized.

  1. Open an SSH session for your NSX Controller.
  2. Run the set control-cluster security-model shared-secret secret <secret> command and type a shared secret when prompted. Ensure you remember the secret key.
  3. Run the initialize control-cluster command.

    This command makes this controller the control cluster master

After this , get the control-cluster status and verify that master is in majority are true and the status is active and the zookeeper server IP is reachable.

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Post which we need to join the other controllers to the master.

NSX-Controller2> set control-cluster security-model shared-secret secret <NSX-Controller1’s-shared-secret-password> Security secret successfully set on the node.
NSX-Controller3> set control-cluster security-model shared-secret secret <NSX-Controller1’s-shared-secret-password> Security secret successfully set on the node.
Then on the master NSX Controller, run the join control-cluster command with the ip address of the secondary and third NSX controller.
join control-cluster <NSX-Controller2-IP> thumbprint <nsx-controller2’s-thumbprint>
After all the NSX controller’s have joined the master, then we need to activate the control-cluster.  Make sure you run activate control-cluster sequentially on each NSX controller and not in parallel.
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This completes the NSX-T manager and NSX-T controller installation and connection with NSX-T manager and setup of controller cluster.
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In next part, I will be doing host preparation and setting up them as transport nodes.
Happy learning!!
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