How is NSX-T different from NSXv?
NSX-T Data Center is different in many ways when compared to the NSX for vSphere (NSXv). The fundamental difference between NSX-T and NSXv is that there is no dependency on the compute Manager, the vCenter Server, and is also designed to support multi-hypervisor environment(ESXi/KVM). The NSX-T Management plane is designed to be completely independent of the vCenter Server and there is a Separate Graphical User Interface (GUI) to manage NSX-T environment. There is no 1:1 mapping of NSX to vCenter Server, unlike NSXv.The management of the NSX functions happens either programmatically or through the GUI. In a heterogeneous environment where the Virtual Machine workloads might be running on different hypervisors like ESXi, KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V. In a heterogeneous environment, you will still be able to add the vCenter Server to the NSX-T Manager.
Key Advantages with vCenter Server as Compute Manager in NSX-T
- Ability to deploy the NSX-T Edge nodes on to the ESXi hosts from the NSX-T Manager GUI
- Ability to deploy the NSX Controllers and configure the NSX Controller Cluster (NEW feature in NSX-T 2.2 )
- To automatically install NSX-T components on ESXi hosts and Configure them as Transport Nodes
How to add vCenter Server as Compute Manager?
- Log in to the NSX-T Manager with the admin credentials
- Expand Fabric, Click Compute Manager, Click + Add from the Compute Managers tab
- On New Compute Manager window, enter the following details and click SAVE to register vCenter Server as Compute Manager
- Name: <vCenter Server Name>
- Description: <optional, but useful>
- Domain Name/IP Address: <vCenter FQDN/IP Adrress>
- Type: vCenter
- Username: <vCenter-Server-Admin-Username>
- Password: <vCenter admin password>
- SHA-256 Thumbprint: <Optional, vCenter Server Thumbprint>
To get the SHA-256 thumbprint, login to the vCenter Server appliance with the root credentials and run the following command:
root@vcsa-01a [ ~ ]# openssl x509 -in /etc/vmware-vpx/ssl/rui.crt -fingerprint -sha1 -noout
Please click “Obtain vSphere Certificate Thumbprints” link for more information
- Click YES on Invalid Thumbprint popup box
- Verify the Registration Status from the Compute Managers. You will the following details here:
- Compute Manager Name
- UUID of the Compute Manager
- Domain Name/IP Address
- Registration Status
- Compute Managers version
- Connection Status
- Last Inventory Update
When the vCenter Server is registered to NSX, the NSX-T Manager can read the vCenter Server inventory information. The NSX-T Manager will be aware of all the ESXi hosts/Clusters and Virtual Machines running in the vSphere environment. This information will be used to deploy the NSX-T Edge nodes on the ESXi hosts and to automatically install the NSX-T components and to automatically create the Transport Nodes.
- From the Hosts, Click on Managed by drop-down menu, you will find the vCenter Server.
- As you can see the NSX-T manager fetches all the clusters in the vSphere environment. Here, in this case, the two clusters, Management Cluster and Compute
- Expand the clusters, to see the list of ESXi hosts configured in the cluster. In the following screenshot, the hosts under the Compute cluster are already installed with the NSX-T Components.
Configure ESXi Cluster to Install NSX and Create Transport Node:
- To Configure Cluster, select the cluster and click Configure Cluster.
By default, the “Automatically Install NSX” and “Automatically Create Transport Node” are disabled, click the toggle button Enable
- On the Configure Cluster window Specify the following details
- Transport Zone
- Uplink Profile
- IP Assignment
- Physical NICs
Once the configuration is done at the cluster level, the current hosts as well as any new hosts added to the cluster will be automatically Installed with all the NSX-T components and are configured as Transport Nodes, very useful when you have to do this for hundreds of ESXi hosts. This is one of the key advantages when vCenter Server registered with the NSX-T Manager
Deploying NSX-T Edges from NSX Manager:
When the vCenter Server is registered with the NSX-T Manager, the NSX admin can deploy the NSX-T edges from the NSX Manager GUI
- To deploy the NSX-T edges, Click on Fabric to expand, Click Nodes and then click Edges tab
- From the Edges tab, Click on +ADD EDGE VM
On the Name and Description window, enter the following details and click Next
- Name: <edge Name>
- Host Name/FQDN: <edge hostname or FQDN>
- Description: <optional parameter, but useful>
- Form Factor: Choose one of the <Small/Medium/Large> form factor for Edge VM deployment
- On the Credentials, type the passwords for admin and Root and Click Next
- On the Configure Deployment, Select the Compute Manager from the drop-down menu. Select the Cluster and Datastore and click Next to Finish the NSX-T Edge deployment on ESXi host.
The optional components on this page are Resource Pool and Host. So this is one of the Key advantages, where the NSX admin no longer needs to look for the OVA file to deploy the NSX-T edge node.
We discussed the following on this blog post:
- How is NSX-T different from NSXv?
- What is compute Manager?
- What are the key advantages?
- How to register vCenter Server to NSX-T Manager?
I hope this is information for you and thank you for reading.