The NSX Manager provides the graphical user interface (GUI) and the REST APIs for creating, configuring, and monitoring NSX components, such as controllers, logical switches, and edge services gateways. The NSX Manager provides an aggregated system view and is the centralized network management component of NSX. NSX Manager is installed as a virtual appliance on any ESX host in your vCenter environment.

The NSX Manager virtual machine is packaged as an OVA file, which allows you to use the vSphere Web Client to import the NSX Manager into the datastore and virtual machine inventory.

For high availability, VMware recommends that you deploy NSX Manager in a cluster configured with HA and DRS. Optionally, you can install the NSX Manager in a different vCenter than the one that the NSX Manager will be interoperating with. A single NSX Manager serves a single vCenter Server environment.

In cross-vCenter NSX installations, make sure that each NSX Manager has a unique UUID. NSX Manager instances deployed from OVA files have unique UUIDs. An NSX Manager deployed from a template (as in when you convert a virtual machine to a template) will have the same UUID as the original NSX Manager used to create the template, and these two NSX Managers cannot be used in the same cross-vCenter NSX installation. In other words, for each NSX Manager, you should install a new appliance from scratch as outlined in this procedure.

The NSX Manager virtual machine installation includes VMware Tools. Do not attempt to upgrade or install VMware Tools on the NSX Manager.

During the installation, you can choose to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) for NSX. See Customer Experience Improvement Program in the NSX Administration Guide for more information about the program, including how to join or leave the program.


  • Before installing NSX Manager, make sure that the required ports are open. See Ports and Protocols Required by NSX.

  • Make sure that a datastore is configured and accessible on the target ESX host. Shared storage is recommended. HA requires shared storage, so that the NSX Manager appliance can be restarted on another host if the original host fails.

  • Make sure that you know the IP address and gateway, DNS server IP addresses, domain search list, and the NTP server IP address that the NSX Manager will use.

  • Decide whether NSX Manager will have IPv4 addressing only, IPv6 addressing only, or dual-stack network configuration. The host name of the NSX Manager will be used by other entities. Hence, the NSX Manager host name must be mapped to the right IP address in the DNS servers used in that network.

  • Prepare a management traffic distributed port group on which NSX Manager will communicate. See Example: Working with a vSphere Distributed Switch. The NSX Manager management interface, vCenter Server, and ESXi host management interfaces must be reachable by NSX Guest Introspection instances.

  • The Client Integration Plug-in must be installed. The Deploy OVF template wizard works best in the Firefox web browser. Sometimes in the Chrome web browser, an error message about installing the Client Integration Plug-in is displayed even though the plug-in is already successfully installed. To install the Client Integration Plug-in:

    1. Open a Web browser and type the URL for the vSphere Web Client.

    2. At the bottom of the vSphere Web Client login page, click Download Client Integration Plug-in.

      If the Client Integration Plug-In is already installed on your system, you will not see the link to download the plug-in. If you uninstall the Client Integration Plug-In, the link to download it will display on the vSphere Web Client login page.


  1. Locate the NSX Manager Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) file.

    Either copy the download URL or download the OVA file onto your computer.

  2. In Firefox, open vCenter.
  3. Select VMs and Templates, right-click your datacenter, and select Deploy OVF Template.
  4. Paste the download URL or click Browse to select the file on your computer.
  5. Tick the checkbox Accept extra configuration options.

    This allows you to set IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, default gateway, DNS, NTP, and SSH properties during the installation, rather than configuring these settings manually after the installation.

  6. Accept the VMware license agreements.
  7. Edit the NSX Manager name (if required).select the location for the deployed NSX Manager

    The name you type will appear in the vCenter inventory.

    The folder you select will be used to apply permissions to the NSX Manager.

  8. Select a host or cluster on which to deploy the NSX Manager appliance.

    For example:

  9. Change the virtual disk format to Thick Provision, and select the destination datastore for the virtual machine configuration files and the virtual disks.
  10. Select the port group for the NSX Manager.

    For example, this screen shot shows the selection of the Mgmt_DVS - Mgmt port group.

  11. (Optional) Select the Join the Customer Experience Improvement Program checkbox.
  12. Set the NSX Manager extra configuration options.

    For example, this screen shows the final review screen after all the options are configured in an IPv4-only deployment.


Open the console of the NSX Manager to track the boot process.

After the NSX Manager is completely booted, log in to the CLI and run the show interface command to verify that the IP address was applied as expected.

nsxmgr1> show interface
Interface mgmt is up, line protocol is up
  index 3 metric 1 mtu 1500 <UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>
  HWaddr: 00:50:56:8e:c7:fa
  inet broadcast
  inet6 fe80::250:56ff:fe8e:c7fa/64
  Full-duplex, 0Mb/s
    input packets 1370858, bytes 389455808, dropped 50, multicast packets 0
    input errors 0, length 0, overrun 0, CRC 0, frame 0, fifo 0, missed 0
    output packets 1309779, bytes 2205704550, dropped 0
    output errors 0, aborted 0, carrier 0, fifo 0, heartbeat 0, window 0
    collisions 0

Make sure that the NSX Manager can ping its default gateway, its NTP server, the vCenter Server, and the IP address of the management interface on all hypervisor hosts that it will manage.

Connect to the NSX Manager appliance GUI by opening a web browser and navigating to the NSX Manager IP address or hostname.

After logging in as admin with the password you set during installation, click View Summary and make sure that the following services are running: vPostgres, RabbitMQ, and NSX Management Services.

For optimal performance, VMware recommends that you reserve memory for the NSX Manager virtual appliance. A memory reservation is a guaranteed lower bound on the amount of physical memory that the host reserves for a virtual machine, even when memory is overcommitted. Set the reservation to a level that ensures NSX Manager has sufficient memory to run efficiently.

What to do next

Register the vCenter Server with the NSX Manager.