Learn NSX – Part-06 (Deploy NSX Controller)

The NSX for vSphere control plane manages logical networks and the overlay transport, and it must be configured in one of the following modes:

  • Multicast Mode ‒ If multicast replication mode is chosen for a given logical switch, VMware NSX relies on the Layer 2 and Layer 3 multicast capability of the physical network to ensure VXLAN encapsulated multi-destination traffic is sent to all the VXLAN tunnel end points (VTEPs). The control plane uses multicast IP addresses on the physical network in this mode.
  • Unicast Mode ‒ In this mode, the control plane is managed by the NSX Controller instances and all replication is done locally on the host. No multicast IP addresses or physical network configurations are required. This mode is very well suited for smaller deployments.
  • Hybrid Mode ‒ An optimized version of unicast mode, where local traffic replication for the subnet is offloaded to the physical network. This mode requires IGMP snooping on the first hop switch, and IGMP querier must be available. However, PIM is not required.

The NSX Controller provides East-West routing by programming traffic flows on the VMware NSX Virtual Switch. If you plan to use the unicast or hybrid control plane mode for the logical switch, you must add an NSX Controller. The NSX Controller optimizes virtual machine broadcast traffic (ARP only), and it stores the learning on the host.

As stated in my previous post – NSX for vSphere 6.2 only supports controller clusters with three nodes.

Following are the resource requirement for deploying controllers….

  • 4 vCPUs
  • 4 GB of memory (2 GB are reserved)
  • 20 GB of disk space.

To deploy NSX Controller nodes

Log in to the vSphere Web Client and click Networking & Security.


Select Installation under the Networking & Security section and select the Management tab.


In the Add Controller dialog box:

  1. Select the appropriate NSX Manager from the NSX Manager drop-down menu.
  2. From the Datacenter drop-down menu, select the data center where you are adding the node.
  3. From the Cluster/Resource Pool drop-down menu, select the appropriate cluster or resource pool where the NSX Controller is to be deployed.
  4. From the Datastore drop-down menu, select the datastore in which the NSX Controller will be deployed.
  5. (Optional) From the Host drop-down menu, select the host.
  6. (Optional) From the Folder drop-down menu, select the folder.
  7. In the Connected To selection box, click Select to choose the logical switch, port group, or distributed port group to which the node is to be connected.
  8. In the IP Pool selection box, click Select to choose the IP pool from which IP addresses are to be assigned to the node.
  9. Type and re-type a password for the NSX Controller.
  10. Click OK.


Deploy two additional NSX Controller nodes to provide a greater level of resiliency.


Now we have deployed all the required controllers and ready for production , next thing is to prepare our vSphere clusters.


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