To prepare hosts to participate in NSX-T Data Center, you must install NSX-T Data Center kernel modules on ESXi hosts. This allows you to build the NSX-T Data Center control-plane and management-plane fabric. NSX-T Data Center kernel modules packaged in VIB files run within the hypervisor kernel and provide services such as distributed routing, distributed firewall, and bridging capabilities.

You can download the NSX-T Data Center VIBs manually and make them part of the host image. The download paths can change for each release of NSX-T Data Center. Always check the NSX-T Data Center downloads page to get the appropriate VIBs.

Procedure

  1. Log in to the host as root or as a user with administrative privileges
  2. Navigate to the /tmp directory.
    [root@host:~]: cd /tmp
  3. Download and copy the nsx-lcp file into the /tmp directory.
  4. Run the install command.
    [root@host:/tmp]: esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/nsx-lcp-<release>.zip
    Installation Result
       Message: Operation finished successfully.
       Reboot Required: false
       VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_nsx-aggservice_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-da_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-esx-datapath_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-exporter_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-host_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-lldp_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-mpa_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-netcpa_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-python-protobuf_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsx-sfhc_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsxa_<release>, VMware_bootbank_nsxcli_<release>
       VIBs Removed:
       VIBs Skipped:
    
    

    Depending on what was already installed on the host, some VIBs might be installed, some might be removed, and some might be skipped. A reboot is not required unless the command output says Reboot Required: true.

Results

As a result of adding an ESXi host to the NSX-T Data Center fabric, the following VIBs get installed on the host.

  • nsx-aggservice—Provides host-side libraries for NSX-T Data Center aggregation service. NSX-T Data Center aggregation service is a service that runs in the management-plane nodes and fetches runtime state from NSX-T Data Center components.

  • nsx-da—Collects discovery agent (DA) data about the hypervisor OS version, virtual machines, and network interfaces. Provides the data to the management plane, to be used in troubleshooting tools.

  • nsx-esx-datapath—Provides NSX-T Data Center data plane packet processing functionality.

  • nsx-exporter—Provides host agents that report runtime state to the aggregation service running in the management plane.

  • nsx-host— Provides metadata for the VIB bundle that is installed on the host.

  • nsx-lldp—Provides support for the Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), which is a link layer protocol used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities, and neighbors on a LAN.

  • nsx-mpa—Provides communication between NSX Manager and hypervisor hosts.

  • nsx-netcpa—Provides communication between the central control plane and hypervisors. Receives logical networking state from the central control plane and programs this state in the data plane.

  • nsx-python-protobuf—Provides Python bindings for protocol buffers.

  • nsx-sfhc—Service fabric host component (SFHC). Provides a host agent for managing the lifecycle of the hypervisor as a fabric host in the management plane's inventory. This provides a channel for operations such as NSX-T Data Center upgrade and uninstall and monitoring of NSX-T Data Center modules on hypervisors.

  • nsxa—Performs host-level configurations, such as N-VDS creation and uplink configuration.

  • nsxcli—Provides the NSX-T Data Center CLI on hypervisor hosts.

  • nsx-support-bundle-client - Provides the ability to collect support bundles.

To verify, you can run the esxcli software vib list | grep nsx or esxcli software vib list | grep <yyyy-mm-dd> command on the ESXi host, where the date is the day that you performed the installation.

What to do next

Add the host to the NSX-T Data Center management plane. See Join the Hypervisor Hosts with the Management Plane.