VMware NSX Installation


Welcome to the VMware NSX installation guide. We will cover all installation steps required for successful deployment of VMware NSX. For you, we have prepared a simple installation scenario to get you started with VMware NSX and to get a good insight on how to install NSX in your environment. There are a few requirements that should be met in order to perform a successful installation.

Gain knowledge of what would be the best hardware to install NSX software, because it is important that everything runs smoothly and without any issues. If you plan to take NSX certification, with this installation guide you will gain practical knowledge. If you worry about licensing you can use your NSX environment free for 60 days by default.

VMware NSX installation

VMware NSX installation

The installation process can be divided into five steps:

1.NSX Manager installation

NSX Manager is installed in the form of virtual appliance, prepared virtual machine that runs in vCenter as any other virtual machine. You can download the latest NSX Manager here.

2. Registration of the NSX Manager with the vCenter

NSX Manager is up and running and now it is the time to register it with vCenter.

3.NSX Controllers deployment

The first job of NSX Manager is the deployment of NSX Controllers.

4.Installation of ESXI hosts

NSX Manager prepares ESXI hosts for NSX environment installing various types of NSX VIBs.

5. Installation NSX Edge and network service

To have L3 device ready for usage, NSX Manager deploys NSX Edge, L3 router for north-south traffic.

Basic prerequisites

  1. vCenter 6.0 (minimum)
  2. Distributed switches configured with MTU 1600
  3. VMware ESXI 6.0 (minimum)
  4. DNS and NTP servers


NSX Manager (vCPU: 4, Memory: 16GB, Disk: 60GB)

NSX Controller (vCPU: 4GB, Memory: 4GB, Disk: 28GB)

NSX Edge min / max (vCPU: 1/6, Memory: 512MB / 8GB, Disk: 1GB / 3GB)

Guest Introspection (vCPU: 2GB, Memory: 2GB, Disk: 5GB)

Network latency: 150 ms RTT (between all components)

Interoperability: Check the requirements here.

Ports and Protocols: Check the requirements here.

Installation scenario

In our VMware NSX installation scenario we will use only one cluster – Compute.  Installation components include: vCenter, NSX Manager, NSX Controllers, 3 ESXI hosts, NSX Edge Gateway,DLR and NSX logical switches. Two basic networks – management and production network. Management network will host all infrastructure machines – vCenter, ESXI hosts, NSX Manager, etc. Production network is used for access for client machines and physical default gateway. We have 3 VXLAN networks: Web, DB and Application tier.

VMware NSX installation scenario

VMware NSX installation scenario


Component Version
vCenter 6.0 4541948
ESXI host U2 3620759
NSX Manager

ESXI hosts

We have used HP (US) servers, perfect combination for enterprise solution:

HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 6130 1P 64GB-R P408i-a 8SFF 800W RPS Performance Server

Base Model #P06423-B21
Edit configuration

Product #P06423-B21
HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 6130 1P 64GB-R P408i-a 8SFF 800W RPS Performance Server

Product #826866-B21
HPE DL380 Gen10 Intel Xeon-Gold 6130 (2.1GHz/16-core/120W) Processor Kit

Product #815100-B21
HPE 32GB (1x32GB) Dual Rank x4 DDR4-2666 CAS-19-19-19 Registered Smart Memory Kit

Product #870753-B21
HPE 300GB SAS 12G Enterprise 15K SFF (2.5in) SC 3yr Wty Digitally Signed Firmware HDD

Product #E6U64ABE
HPE iLO Advanced Electronic License with 3yr Support on iLO Licensed Features

Product #H8QP7E
HPE 3 Year Foundation Care 24×7 DL380 Gen10 Service

For home lab environment we recommend:

Compute Dell-PowerEdge-R710

2x Intel Xeon X5670 – 2.93GHz 6 Core
PERC H700 RAID Controller w/ 512MB Cache
6x Dell R-Series 3.5″ SATA 2TB 7.2K Drive
2x 870W PSU for Dell R Series
4 x embedded Broadcom® NetXtreme® II 5709c Gigabit Ethernet NIC

Network Linksys Business LGS108 8-Port

Storage WD 2TB My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage – NAS

Logical switches (vSS/vDS) 

Standard switch – vSwitch0 (Management Network)

Distributed switch – Transport vDS (Transport network used for communication within a data center)

Distributed switch – Edge vDS (Network used for communication between data center and outside world)*

 * Set MTU size to 1600 on vDS and on your physical network if you do not use nested virtualization.


We will only use local datastore. The size of each datastore is 280GB.


Management network

A network that connects all management components such as:

ESXI hosts

NSX Manager

NSX Controllers

NSX Edge

We will connect the management network to the standard switch.

DNS, NTP and AD services are also part of management network.

Production network

Network that is used for client access and exit to internet. NSX Edge gateway for north-south traffic will use default gateway (physical network device) to access the outside world via static route.

Default gateway –

NSX Edge interfaces

Interface name Interface type IP address
Uplink Uplink
Transit uplink Internal

Transit network

A transit network is used to connect Distributed Logical Router (DLR) to NSX Edge to access the outside world. DLR and NSX Edge are both logical routers. DLR is used for east-west traffic routing and NSX Edge for north-south routing. We need network that will be used to connect both routers.

Transit network – (N-S, E-W routing)

Transit network will be installed on vDS on each port group.

 DLR interfaces

Interface type Interface name IP address
Internal Transit
Internal Web Tier
Internal App Tier
Internal DB Tier

VXLAN network

VXLAN network in the NSX world is used to transmit data over a physical network. VTEPs are installed and presented as VMkernels. Each host contains two VTEP interfaces due to the load distribution, and we will define a pool of 6 IP addresses. Each subnet is marked with a special tag called VNI, so we will reserve a few in the range of 5000 to 5100. VNIs are used as VXLAN internal id like VLAN IDs in the physical world.

IP Addresses:


VNI segment: 5000-5100

VXLAN network will be installed on vDS as one of the port groups.

VM networks

This network is used by virtual machines. Each network uses different subnet depending on the service:

Application server –

Web server –

Database Server –

VM networks will be installed on vDS on each port group.

 IP address list

Component Network Switch IP address
ESXI host1  Management network  vSS
ESXI host2  Management network vSS
ESXI host3  Management network  vSS
NSX Manager  Management network  vSS
NSX Controller 1  Management network  vSS
NSX Controller 2  Management network  vSS
NSX Controller 3  Management network  vSS
App server  VM network 1  Transport vDS
DB server  VM network 2  Transport vDS
Web server  VM network 3  Transport vDS
VTEP pool  VTEP  VMkernel -
DLR  Transit network  Transport vDS
NSX Edge Transit network Transport vDS
NSX Edge Edge newtork Edge vDS