The duration for the NSX-T Data Center upgrade process depends on the number of components you have to upgrade in your infrastructure. It is important to understand the operational state of NSX-T Data Center components during an upgrade.

The upgrade process is as follows:

NSX Edge cluster > Hosts > Management plane.

NSX Edge Cluster Upgrade

During Upgrade After Upgrade
  • During the NSX Edge upgrade, you might experience the following traffic interruption:
    • North-south datapath is affected if the NSX Edge is part of the datapath.
    • East-west traffic between tier-1 routers using NSX Edge firewall, NAT, or load balancing.
    • Temporary Layer 2 and Layer 3 interruption.
  • Configuration changes are not blocked on NSX Manager but might be delayed.
  • Configuration changes are allowed.
  • Upgraded NSX Edge cluster is compatible with the older versions of the Management plane and the hosts.
  • New features introduced in the upgrade are not configurable until the Management plane is upgraded.
  • Run post checks to make sure that the upgraded NSX Edge cluster and NSX-T Data Center do not have any problems.

Hosts Upgrade

During Upgrade After Upgrade
  • For standalone ESXi hosts or ESXi hosts that are part of a disabled DRS cluster, place hosts in maintenance mode.

    For ESXi hosts that are part of a fully enabled DRS cluster, if the host is not in maintenance mode, the upgrade coordinator requests the host to be put in maintenance mode. The vSphere DRS tool migrates the VMs to another host in the same cluster during the upgrade and places the host in maintenance mode.

    Note: Before you place your ESXi host in maintenance mode, power off any NSX Edge VMs that may be residing on the host and ensure that the NSX Edge VMs continue to reside on the same host.
  • For ESXi host, for an in-place upgrade you do not need to power off the tenant VMs.
  • For a KVM host, for an in-place upgrade you do not need to power off the VMs. For a maintenance mode upgrade, power off the VMs.
  • Configuration changes are allowed on NSX Manager.
  • Power on or return the tenant VMs of standalone ESXi hosts or ESXi hosts that are part of a disabled DRS cluster that were powered off before the upgrade.
  • New features introduced in the upgrade are not configurable until the Management plane is upgraded.
  • Run post checks to make sure that the upgraded hosts and NSX-T Data Center do not have any problems.

Limitations on In-Place Upgrade

For NSX-T Data Center, in-place upgrade of a host is not supported in the following scenarios:

  • More than one N-VDS switch is configured on the host.
  • More than 100 vNICs are configured on the host N-VDS switch.
  • ENS is configured on the host N-VDS switch.
  • CPU use for the hostd, nsxa, or the config-agent service is high.
  • vSAN(with LACP) is configured on the host N-VDS switch.
  • Layer 7 firewall rules or Identity Firewall rules are enabled.
  • VMkernel interface is configured on the overlay network.
  • Service Insertion has been configured to redirect north-south traffic or east-west traffic.
  • A VProbe-based packet capture is in progress.

For ESXi hosts with version 7.0 and later, when upgrading from NSX-T 3.1 or later, in-place upgrade is not supported in the following scenarios:

  • More than 1000 vNICs are configured on the host N-VDS or the VDS switch.
  • CPU use for the hostd, nsxa, or the config-agent service is high.
  • Layer 7 firewall rules or Identity Firewall rules are enabled.
  • Service Insertion has been configured to redirect north-south traffic or east-west traffic.
  • A VProbe-based packet capture is in progress.
  • The nsx-cfgagent service is not running on the host.

Management Plane Upgrade

During Upgrade After Upgrade
  • Configuration changes are not blocked on the Management plane. Do not make any changes during the Management plane upgrade.
  • API service is momentarily unavailable.
  • User interface is unavailable for a short period.
  • Configuration changes are allowed.
  • New features introduced in the upgrade are configurable.
  • For NSX-T Data Center 3.0, you need a valid license to use licensed features like T0, T1, Segments, and NSX intelligence.
  • From the Upgrade Coordinator, verify that the upgrade process has completed. Perform configuration tasks only after the upgrade process is complete.