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-adf
(Automated Diagnostics Framework) Collects and analyzes performance data to produce both local (at host) and central (across datacenter) diagnoses of performance issues.
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-cli-libs 
Provides the  NSX-T Data Center CLI on hypervisor hosts.
nsx-common-libs
Provide some utilities classes such as AES, SHA-1, UUID, bitmap, and others.
nsx-context-mux
Provides NSX Guest Introspection relay functionality. Allows VMware Tools guest agents to relay guest context to inhouse and registered third-party partner appliances.
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-metrics-libs
Provides metric utility classes for collecting daemon metrics.
nsx-mpa
Provides communication between NSX Manager and hypervisor hosts.
nsx-nestdb-libs
NestDB is a database that stores NSX configurations related to the host (desired/runtime state, etc).
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-opsagent
Communicates operations agent executions (transport node realization, Link Layer Discovery Protocol - LLDP,traceflow, packet capture, etc.) with the management plane.
nsx-platform-client
Provides a common CLI execution agent, for centralized CLI and audit log collecting.
nsx-profiling-libs
Provides the functionality of profiling based on gpeftool which used for daemon process profiling.
nsx-proxy
Provides the only northbound contact point agent, which talks to the central control plane and management plane.
nsx-python-gevent
Contains Python Gevent.
nsx-python-greenlet
Contains Python Greenlet library (third party libraries).
nsx-python-logging
Contains the Python logs.
nsx-python-protobuf
Provides Python bindings for protocol buffers.
nsx-rpc-libs
This library provides nsx-rpc functionality.
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.
nsx-shared-libs
Contains the shared NSX libraries.
nsx-upm-libs
Provides unified profile management functionality for flattening client-side configuration and avoiding duplicate data transmission.
nsx-vdpi
Provides Deep Packet Inspection capabilities for NSX-T Data Center Distributed Firewall.
nsxcli
Provides the NSX-T Data Center CLI on hypervisor hosts.
vsipfwlib
Provides distributed firewall functionality.

To verify, you can run the esxcli software vib list | grep nsx and esxcli software vib list | grep vsipfwlib commands on the ESXi host. Or you can run the esxcli software vib list | grep <yyyy-mm-dd> command, 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 Deploy NSX Manager Nodes to Form a Cluster Using CLI.