How to Install NSX-T 2.4 (Part 1) – 1st NSX Manager

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I wanted to kick off a new NSX-T 2.4 series.  I have posted a lot of administrative articles and now I figured I’d start a series of how to actually install NSX-T.  In 2.4 VMware combined both the NSX Manager & NSX Controller into a single appliance, which has made deployment a lot easier.  Since we need 3 x NSX Managers this allows for HA and future scale.
**I cannot stress enough how important proper planning and sizing for your environment is.  Plus, ensure you have met all the requirements or you will be spending a good amount of time troubleshooting. 
**Since the majority of environments I work in are VMware instead of KVM this article will be VMware centric.

Make sure you have the NSX unified appliance ova that you will need to deploy NSX-T:

Ensure you meet the NSX-T Manager and Edge requirements:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-T-Data-Center/2.4/installation/GUID-14183A62-8E8D-43CC-92E0-E8D72E198D5A.html

Ensure the necessary ports are open:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-T-Data-Center/2.4/installation/GUID-2ABB0F95-E918-43A1-B096-7401979D51AA.html

You must have a password for NSX Manager system root, CLI admin, and audit passwords.
****I cannot stress how import it is to meet the below requirements.  NSX will allow yo continue your deployment and you will have to go in and change the passwords manually via CLI.

  • At least 12 characters:
  • At least one lower-case letter
  • At least one upper-case letter
  • At least one digit
  • At least one special character
  • At least five different characters
  • No dictionary words
  • No palindromes
  • More than four monotonic character sequence is not allowed

NSX-T 2.4 Manager sizing requirements from Vmware:

Per Vmware:

  • The NSX Manager Extra Small VM resource requirements apply only to the Cloud Service Manager.
  • The NSX Manager Small VM appliance size is suitable for lab and proof-of-concept deployments, and must not be used in production.
  • The NSX Manager Medium VM appliance size is suitable for typical production environments and can support up to 64 hypervisors.
  • The NSX Manager Large VM appliance size is suitable for large-scale deployments with more than 64 hypervisors.

Now let the fun begin and yes there will be fun:

Go into vCenter and deploy the OVF

The above file is required

This is where you will assign a name for your first NSX Manager. Change the default name to what you have entered into DNS.

Now you assigned the compute resources to run the cluster

Confirm the above is accurate and click next

Select the size of the NSX Manager you will deploy

Select the datastore you want to place the NSX Manager.  

Now it is time to select the management network that you have selected.

Here is where you enter your SUPER IMPORTANT passwords.  I recommend keeping all the usernames default

Only put one DNS to start.  I have had the OVA fail to deploy sometimes because of this.

Time to give this NSX Manager a name, IP, subnet mask, gateway, and NTP server.  Also, I highly recommend enabling SSH in the beginning.  It will come in handy real soon.
On the next page confirm then click finish to begin the deployment…FYI; Install takes 7-8 minutes
Once the install completes you need to power on the VM.
***if it won’t power on, log out of your vCenter and log back in 🙂 #bug

Optional Step but recommended: change CLI timeout
#set cli-timeout 0
Additional Link for changing passwords:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-T-Data-Center/2.4/administration/GUID-DB31B304-66A5-4516-9E55-2712D12B4F27.html

Validation checks:
Putty into your NSX Manager. I told you enabling SSH would come in handy 😉

Verify correct network information took during deploying:
#get interface eth0

Confirm services are running:
#get services

Network validation checks to perform:
Ping NSX Manager default gateway from NSX Manager
Ping host your NSX Manager is living on from NSX Manager
Ping the associated vCenter from your NSX Manager
Ping DNS Server from your NSX Manager
Ping VM on your network from NSX Manager
Ping NSX Manager from another VM on your network

Log into your NSX Manager:
Put your NSX Manager IP into a web browser – https://IP-NSX-Manager

Congrats you are now ready to begin growing the install.

Summary:
Your NSX Manager should now be deployed.  We have validated that it is able to communicate with your environment.  Next comes more fun that will be continued in my next article. I hope y’all find this article helpful. 
***On a side note to Vmware, this would make a great lab in your NSX-T 2.4 install, configure, management course instead of giving us a lab with the 1st NSX Manager already deployed!

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