vRealize Automation 6 with NSX – Initial Setup of NSX

Before we can start deploying environments with automated network segments, we need to do some basic setup of the NSX environment.

NSX Manager Setup

It should be obvious that you need to setup NSX Manager, deploy controllers and do some host preparation. These are basic setup procedures just to use NSX even without vRealize Automation in the middle of things, but just as a quick review:

Install NSX Manager and deploy NSX Controller Nodes

NSX Manager setup can be deployed from an OVA and then you must register the NSX Manager with vCenter. After this is complete, deploy three NSX Controller nodes to configure your logical constructs.
NSXSetupManagementSetup

Next Prepare your ESXi hosts which will install a VIB on them.

NSXSetupHostPrep

The next step isn’t specific to every NSX install. We want to create an NSX Edge so that our newly created distributed logical routers will be able to communicate with the rest of the network. To do this create a new NSX Edge with an Uplink that is connected to a vSphere portgroup and create another Internal interface that will service as a transit network.

NSXSetupEdge1

NSXSetupEdgeInterface

Once you’ve got the NSX edge created, create a logical switch on the Transit network. This will be where the rest of your Distributed Logical Routers will connect when they are spun up.

NSXSetup-LogicalSwitch

If you’re having trouble visualizing the process think about this diagram where we’ve got an NSX edge connected to a transit switch and then the Distributed Logical Routers will be created from vRA and attached to the transit switch.


NSXVRAdiagram

vRealize Automation Endpoints

Before you can use any of the automated networking features you have to discover them with vRealize Automation. To do this we need to make sure our vCenter endpoint is aware of the NSX manager.

To do this go to Infrastructure –> Endpoints –> Endpoints and modify (or create from scratch if you don’t have a vCenter endpoint already) the vCenter endpoint. Select the “Specify manager for network and security platform” checkbox. Then enter the URL for your NSX Manager appliance and add some credentials to connect to it.

NSXSetupEndpoint

When you’re finished setting up the endpoint be sure to do a data collection to inventory all of the NSX components. Until you do this, you won’t be able to deploy any new networks. Once you’ve done tis we can go about setting up some network profiles. Go to Infrastructure –> Reservations –> Network Profiles and add a new External Network Profile. I’ve called mine transit because it’s going to be what I use to connect to my transit logical switch that we created in NSX.

 

NSXSetup-TransitNetworkProfile

Enter all of the information for the transit network. Enter a name and description, as well as the subnet mask and default gateway that matches the transit network you created in NSX. Also fill out DNS information and suffixes. Last but not least, be sure to enter your WINS Servers if you’ve gotten lost in some sort of wormhole for the past decade. Just kidding.
NSXSetup-TransitNetworkProfile2

Click on the IP Ranges tab and enter a new network range. The IP Addresses you setup here will be assigned to the distributed routers that get created by vRealize Automation. Ensure that you have enough IP Addresses here to handle all of the new routers you’ll be spinning up.

NSXSetup-TransitNetworkProfile3

 

Summary

Now your NSX and vRealize Automation environment is ready to start creating blueprints to leverage private networks, routed networks and NAT’d networks. There is still the matter of creating network profiles for your applications but this can be done as part of the blueprint build in vRealize Automation. If you’ve gotten this far, you’re well on your way to deploying multi-tier applications with their own networks.



3 Responses to vRealize Automation 6 with NSX – Initial Setup of NSX

  1. Hey Eric,

    I have been trying to set up NSX from quiet a while now but havent been successful.. some insight would be helpful.
    So i have a 10.a.b.x subnet as my external network.
    So my vCenter in on 10.a.b.43
    esx1 on 10.a.b.27
    esx2 on 10.a.b.28
    esx3 on 10.a.b.29
    NSX manager is on 10.a.b.48
    the three controllers on 10.a.b.211 212 and 213
    The VXLAN IPs are 10.a.b.214 215 and 216
    The physical gateway is 10.a.b.252

    we have some subnets with no configuration
    192.168.30.x/25 VLAN 130
    192.168.31.x/25 VLAN 131
    192.168.32.x/25 VLAN 132
    192.168.33.x/25 VLAN 133
    192.168.34.x/25 VLAN 134
    192.168.35.x/25 VLAN 135
    We have a vDS which connects to all 10.a.b.x IPs VLAN 113
    So now I cant get the 192 ips to communicate with 10.a.b.x IPs no matter what i do…
    I have tried all possible configs of Perimeter Gateway Edge and Even Logical Distributed Routers

    Thanks in advance
    -Rishab

    • From your description I’m wondering if you have a route from your 10.a.b.252 gateway to the 192.168.x.x/25 VLANs and vice versa? Remember that your Physical gateway still needs to be able to figure out where packets are to be sent with an IP of 192.168.x.x/25.

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