NSX installation involves the deployment of several virtual appliances, some ESX host preparation, and some configuration to allow communication across all of the physical and virtual devices.

The process begins by deploying an NSX Manager OVF/OVA template and ensuring that the NSX Manager has full connectivity to the management interfaces of the ESX hosts that it will manage. After that, the NSX Manager and a vCenter instance need to be linked with each other through a registration process. This then allows a cluster of NSX controllers to be deployed. NSX controllers, like the NSX Manager, run as virtual appliances on ESX hosts. The next step is to prepare the ESX hosts for NSX by installing several VIBs on the hosts. These VIBs enable the Layer 2 VXLAN functionality, distributed routing, and distributed firewall. After configuring VXLANs, specifying virtual network interface (VNI) ranges, and creating transport zones, you can build out your NSX overlay topology.

This installation guide describes in detail each step in the process.

While being applicable to any NSX deployment, this guide also leads you through the creation of a sample NSX overlay topology that you can use for practice, guidance, and reference purposes. The sample overlay has a single NSX logical distributed router (sometimes called a DLR), an edge services gateway (ESG), and an NSX logical transit switch connecting the two NSX routing devices. The sample topology includes elements of an underlay as well, including two sample virtual machines. These virtual machines are each connected to a separate NSX logical switch that allow connectivity through the NSX logical router (DLR).