We will be leveraging VMware NSX in this implementation to provide the load balancing services for the vRA deployment as well as integrating into vRA for application-centric network and security. Before any of this is possible, we must deploy NSX to the vSphere cluster, prepare the hosts, and configure logical network services. The guide assumes the use of NSX for these services, but this is NOT a requirement. A distributed installation of vRA can be accomplished with most load balancers. VMware certifies NSX, F5, and NetScaler.

(You can skip this section if you do not plan on using NSX in your environment)

Checklist:

  • Deploy (3) NSX Controller Nodes
  • Prep vSphere Hosts
  • Complete Logical Network Preparation
  • Configure VXLAN Network
  • Configure Transport Zone

Video

Detailed Steps

Configuration Steps Screenshots
Add NSX Controller Node(s)

In vSphere Web Client, navigate to Network & SecurityInstallation

In the NSX Controller Nodes section, click the + to add a new controller

Add NSX Controller Node(s)

Complete the require inputs for the first controller:

  • Name: enter a useful name
  • NSX Manager: use the dropdown to select a registered NSX Manager (primary manager selected by default)
  • Datacenter: select a valid vSphere Datacenter
  • Cluster / Resource Pool: select a valid vSphere Cluster
  • Datastore: select a valid vSphere datastore
  • Host (optional)
  • Folder (optional)
  • Connected To: browse to and add a valid DvPortGroup for the controller uplink
  • IP Pool: click Select to select or create an IP Pool:
    • Name
    • Gateway
    • Prefix Length
    • Primary DNS
    • Secondary DNS
    • DNS Suffix
    • Static IP Pool
    • Click OK to return to the main dialog
  • Password
  • Confirm Password 

Click OK when finished

 

Add Additional Controller Nodes

Repeat the process above to add additional NSX controller nodes.

As a best practice, it is recommended that you have at least 3 nodes deployed in a production environment.

(Note: the minimum requirement is one controller, although that will limit availability and performance…okay for lab environments).

 

Host Preparation

From the Host Preparation tab, click on the gear in the Installation Status column and select Install.

Monitor the status of the agent installation.

Hosts will be put into maintenance mode during installation and rebooted once installed.

 

NOTE: the installation may hang if a host is unable to evacuate VMs and gracefully enter maintenance mode. If that occurs, you can manually migrate VMs and put the host in maintenance mode.

 

Host Preparation

Ensure all the hosts in the cluster are successfully prepared before continuing.

 

Segment ID

Navigate to the Logical network Preparation TabSegment ID

Click Edit

 

Segment ID

Enter a valid Segment ID pool range

Click OK

 

Configure VXLAN

Navigate back to Host Preparation tab

Click on Not Configured in the VXLAN column

 

Configure VXLAN

Enter the required configuration details:

  • Switch: select the desired DvSwitch from the drop-down menu
  • VLAN: enter the desired VLAN
  • MTU: enter the desired MTU
  • VMKNic IP Addressing: use the drop-down to select an available IP pool or create a new one:
    • Name
    • Gateway
    • Prefix Length
    • Primary DNS
    • Secondary DNS
    • DNS Suffix
    • Static IP Pool – enter a valid IP range
    • Click OK to accept
  • VMKNic Teaming Policy: select Fail Over (default)
  • Click OK to accept

 

Configure VXLAN

Confirm the new VXLAN is successfully configured before continuing.

 

Configure VXLAN

Navigate back to Logical Network Preparation Tab

Confirm all the target hosts were successfully configured with a vmk and address from the configured IP pool.

 

Transport Zones

Navigate to Logical Network Preparation tab → Transport Zones

Click + to add a new Transport Zone

 

Transport Zones

Enter the details for the new Transport Zone:

  • Name: demo-transport
  • Description: <something useful>
  • Replication mode: Unicast

Select the target cluster to be part of the Transport Zone

Click OK to accept

 

Transport Zones

Confirm the Transport Zone has been properly configured.

 

Review

All the vSphere hosts have to be prepared (agent installed) and NSX logical network configuration completed prior to leveraging any NSX services. Later, we’ll add an Edge Services Gateway to provide load balancing for the vRA distributed implementation. NSX will enter the spotlight again once vRA is all configured and ready for providing app-centric network and security services.

Next Step: 03, Deploy vRA Virtual Appliances

 

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@virtualjad

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