In the first post in this series I demonstrated associating VMware NSX to vCenter installation. We covered off the NSX manager function and how to associate it. Now lets look at deploying some NSX Controllers.

NSX Controllers are the control-plane of the solution. Deployed in a three-node cluster these virtual appliances provide, maintain and update the state of all network function within the NSX domain. Built upon clustering technology such as Zookeeper (which everyone seems to be using these days), NSX can take failure well. Clusters can break, destroy or cease working and there will be no impact to an NSX domain as long as 1 instance is running. This is due to the slicing of information across the node cluster of network state information.


The Networking and Security home screen introduces the benefits of NSX at a high level. Familiarise yourself with this screen as we will explore many features within this series. From here select installation. Select the green plus symbol to add a Controller.

The following information is required. I am placing the controllers on the Management and Edge Cluster and using the relevant datastore. I am not defining a host within the cluster to instantiate this instance to.

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Connect this to the Management Edge distributed vSwitch that runs across the Management and Edge Cluster. The port group on there called ‘Mgmt’ is the one we need to connect to.

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Next is to create the IP pool required for connectivity. This IP pool will be used by this and subsequent controllers installed into the environment.


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Now it is time to fill out information about the pool we are going to use. DNS is important in this environment. This can either be an existing server infrastructure or something such as the VMware vCenter Server Appliance.

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After this is done we just need to set a management password for the controller.

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With that done we now wait and let the controller deploy. There is an API call to the NSX manager that passes the configured variables to the OVA which is being deployed. This takes a couple of minutes to deploy.

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Now lets quickly repeat the process and deploy three controllers.

It is important to note that in a LAB ENVIRONMENT ONLY you can get away with ONE controller. DO NOT do this in a PRODUCTION environment.

Now with three controllers it is time to finish of preparing the clusters. With the NSX manager installed and controllers deployed we have a management plane and control plane established. In the next post it will be time to prepare the breadth of our NSX domain, prepare the clusters which in turn installs VIBs and prepare the VNIs for use for the VXLAN VMK interface.


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