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NSX-T 3.2 Home lab Setup- Part 2 [Setting up the network and vSphere to use NSX-T]:

In this part of the blog series, we will take a look at some of the NSX-t fundamentals and theory of operations, configuring the vCenter and ESXi nodes with NSX-t, and the network configurations for setting up edge nodes in the environment.

The NSX-t consists of the following layers:

1- Management Plane: This plane provides the entry point for NSX APIs and user interface. It provides the interface for maintaining configuration, user queries and management of all the control and data plane nodes. It provides an aggregated system view and centralized network management interface.

2- Control Plane: The control plane computes the runtime state of the system as configured by the management plane. It is also responsible for reporting out the status of the nodes in the data plane back to the management plane.

3- Data Plane: The data plane is where the actual “networking” function takes place. The data plane performs the stateless forwarding or transformation of data packets based on the configurations populated by the control plane. Devices in the data plane are known as transport nodes. There are two types of transport nodes:

1- Hypervisor Transport Nodes: The hypervisor transport nodes are prepared and configured for NSX-T. NSX-T provides networking services to virtual machines running on the hypervisor. Currently NSX-T supports ESXi and KVM as hypervisor nodes.

2- Edge Nodes: Edge nodes are services appliances dedicated to running centralized network services that cannot be distributed to hypervisors. Edge nodes can be implemented on bare metals or as virtual appliances. Edge nodes are grouped into edge clusters. The edge clusters are what is consumed by one or more NSX-T network services.

Let us now take a look at how we could link our vCenter server to the NSX-T manager.

1- From NSX-T Homepage, click n the system tab:

2 - Expand fabric and click on compute managers:

3- Click on “+ ADD COMPUTE MANAGER”:

4- Enter your vCenter details as shown in the screenshot below:

Let’s now take a look at how we configure the ESXi hosts as host transport nodes:

1- Under Fabric, click on “Nodes”

2- Click on “Host Transport Nodes” and select your vcenter server from the “Managed By” drop down:

3- Select the desired host and click on “CONFIGURE NSX”:

4- Set the name and click next:

5- Configure the host NSX configurations:

Due to limitation of NIC cards in my home lab setup, I will not be explaining this setup in more details at this point of time. However, we will take a closer look at Transport zones and Uplink profiles in the next part of this blog series.

In this blog post series example, I am trying to setup a NAT and routing device using the NSX-T. Below is a summary of my planned network architecture:

Prepare for NSX edge vm nw interfaces on the vSwitches:

In the next blog post, we will take a look at deploying Edge nodes, edge cluster and then setting up the Tier 0 Gateway.

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