This guide documents the steps to install and validate the basic functionalities of NSX-T Data Center (also known as NSX-T) in a vSphere environment. The vSphere feature VDS (vSphere Distributed Switch) will be used in the installation of NSX-T.

Note that this guide documents a very basic deployment. It is a foundation which you can modify and expand to include many features.

Detailed documentation of all the NSX-T features can be found in the NSX-T Data Center documentation set (https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-T-Data-Center).

NSX-T is an implementation of a software-defined network. It provides network services such as switching, routing, load balancing, firewalls, and VPN. In a vSphere environment, an NSX-T deployment consists of the following components:
  • vCenter Server (VC) - It provides NSX-T with access to the environment and objects it manages, such as virtual distributed switches and VMs. In NSX-T, a VC is called a compute manager. NSX-T supports multiple compute managers.
  • ESXi hosts - After NSX-T modules are installed on an ESXi host, it is called a host transport node. Network services for VMs running on the host can be provided by NSX-T.
  • NSX Edge nodes - VMs that provide network services to all the NSX-T components. Also known as edge transport nodes.
  • NSX Managers - VMs that provide a browser-based GUI for administering the NSX-T environment.
NSX-T has the following logical network components:
  • Segment - A logical switch that can connect VMs to gateways and a tier-0 gateway to a physical router.
  • Tier-1 gateway - A logical router that routes traffic between segments.
  • Tier-0 gateway - A logical router that connects tier-1 gateways to a physical router so that segments have external connectivity.

The procedures in this guide will create the following NSX-T environment. It is assumed that a physical router already exists in your data center.

NSX-T topology created in this guide

The steps in this guide are:
  1. Deploy three NSX Manager VMs to form a manager cluster.
  2. Configure a vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS).
  3. Create an uplink profile and configure host transport nodes.
  4. Deploy two NSX Edge VMs to form an edge cluster.
  5. Create and configure one tier-0 gateway for north-south traffic.
  6. Create and configure two tier-1 gateways to route traffic from tenant VMs.
  7. Create and configure three segments (logical switches) for tenant VMs.
  8. Deploy three test VMs to test north-south and east-west connectivity.