Typically, for the initial installation, the order of procedures is as follows:

  1. Install NSX Manager.

  2. Install NSX Controllers.

  3. Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.

  4. Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.

    This step is required even if you have only one NSX Controller in your environment.

  5. Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.

  6. Install NSX-T modules on hypervisor hosts.

    Certificates are created on hypervisor hosts when NSX-T modules are installed.

  7. Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.

    This causes the host to send its host certificate to the management plane.

  8. Install NSX Edges.

  9. Join NSX Edges with the management plane.

  10. Create transport zones and transport nodes.

    This causes an NSX-T hostswitch to be created on each host. At this time, the management plane sends the host certificates to the control plane, and the management plane pushes control plane information to the hosts. Each host connects to the control plane over SSL presenting its certificate. The control plane validates the certificate against the host certificate provided by the management plane. The controllers accept the connection upon successful validation.

This is the recommended order, but this order is not required.

NSX Manager can be installed at any time.

NSX Controllers can be installed and join the management plane at any time.

NSX-T modules can be installed on a hypervisor host before it joins the management plane, or you can perform both procedures at the same time using the Fabric > Hosts > Add UI or the POST fabric/nodes API.

NSX Controllers, NSX Edges, and hosts with NSX-T modules can join the management plane at any time.


When the hosts are transport nodes, you can create transport zones, logical switches, logical routers and other network components through the NSX Manager UI or API at any time. When NSX Controllers, NSX Edges, and hosts join the management plane, the NSX-T logical entities and configuration state are pushed to the NSX Controllers, NSX Edges, and hosts automatically.

For more information, see the NSX-T Administration Guide.