NSX Manager and vCenter have a one-to-one relationship. For every instance of NSX Manager, there is one vCenter Server. This is true even if you are using the NSX cross-vCenter feature. After you install NSX Manager and ensure that the NSX management service is running, the next step is to register a vCenter Server with the NSX Manager.

Only one NSX Manager can be registered with a vCenter. Changing a vCenter registration can lead to an issue in which the change does not get communicated correctly to all affected vCenters and NSX Managers.

For example, suppose you have the following initial configuration of NSX Managers and vCenters:

  • NSX1 ----> VC1

  • NSX2 ----> VC2

If you change the configuration on NSX1 so that its vCenter is VC2, the following occurs:

  • NSX1 correctly reports that its vCenter is VC2.

  • VC2 correctly reports that its NSX Manager is NSX1.

  • VC1 incorrectly reports that its NSX Manager is NSX1.

  • NSX2 incorrectly reports that its vCenter is VC2.

In other words, if a vCenter is already registered with one NSX Manager, and then a different NSX Manager registers the same vCenter, the vCenter automatically removes its connection with the first NSX Manager and connects to the new NSX Manager. However, when you log in to the first NSX Manager, it continues to report a connection to the vCenter.

To prevent this issue, remove the NSX Manager plug-in from VC1 before registering it with VC2. For instructions, see Safely Remove an NSX Installation.


  • The NSX management service must be running. You can verify this by using a Web browser to open the NSX Manager appliance GUI at https://<nsx-manager-ip> and looking at the Summary tab.

  • You must have a vCenter Server user account with the Administrator role to synchronize NSX Manager with the vCenter Server. If your vCenter password has non-ASCII characters, you must change it before synchronizing the NSX Manager with the vCenter Server.


  1. In a Web browser, navigate to the NSX Manager appliance GUI at https://<nsx-manager-ip> or https://<nsx-manager-hostname>, and log in as admin with the password that you configured during NSX Manager installation.
  2. Under Appliance Management, click Manage vCenter Registration.

    For example:

  3. Edit the vCenter Server element to point to the vCenter Server's IP address or hostname, and enter the vCenter Server user name and password.

    For the user name, the best practice is to enter administrator@vsphere.local or an alternative account that you have created. Do not use the root account.

  4. Check that the certificate thumbprint matches the certificate of the vCenter Server.

    If you installed a CA-signed certificate on the CA server, you are presented with the thumbprint of the CA-signed certificate. Otherwise, you are presented with a self-signed certificate.

  5. Do not tick Modify plugin script download location, unless the NSX Manager is behind a firewall type of masking device.

    This option allows you to enter an alternate IP address for NSX Manager. Note that putting NSX Manager behind a firewall of this type is not recommended.

  6. Confirm that the vCenter Server status is Connected.

    For example:

  7. Required: If vCenter Web Client is already open, log out of vCenter and log back in with the same Administrator role used to register NSX Manager with vCenter.

    If you do not do this, vCenter Web Client will not display the Networking & Security icon on the Home tab.

    Click the Networking & Security icon and confirm that you can see the newly deployed NSX Manager.

What to do next

VMware recommends that you schedule a backup of NSX Manager data right after installing NSX Manager.

If you have an NSX partner solution, refer to partner documentation for information on registering the partner console with NSX Manager.

Login to the vSphere Web Client and make sure that the Networking & Security icon appears on the Home tab. If you are already logged in, the icon will not appear. Re-login to the vSphere Web Client to view the new icon.

You can now install and configure NSX components.