Deploying VMware NSX-V – Part 4 Deploying NSX Controllers

This part will cover deploying NSX Controllers to the environment. These are responsible for control plane information for all logical networks as well as maintaining VTEP, MAC and ARP tables. To provide redundancy you need to deploy 3 controllers and currently this is the only supported configuration. It is also recommended to use DRS rules to separate these virtual machines, after all it’s not much point having 3 of them if they all run on the same host. One common misconception is these controller pass data traffic – this is not true. NSX Controllers do not operate in the data plane and pass no VM traffic.

To get started navigate to Installation and Upgrade, click Management and click the green plus sign under NSX Controllers.

To deploy an NSX Controller you need to provide a name and choose the cluster, host and datastore to deploy it to. There is also a requirement for an IP Pool to be used with NSX Controllers. Click Select to choose or configure an IP Pool.

I already have one IP Pool for VTEPs so click New IP Pool to create another for NSX Controllers.


Configure the pool by providing a name, gateway, prefix and DNS information. I’ve given the pool 3 static IP addresses. Click OK to continue.

When deploying the first controller you need to set a secure password. This has to meet certain complexity requirements and be at least 12 characters in length. Click OK and the deployment will begin. The controllers are configured with 4 vCPU and 4GB RAM. They also have reservations set so in very small environments the process may fail if there isn’t enough resource available. Usually this is only an issue in lab environments. It is possible to change the configuration but this is unsupported however if you wish to do this a quick google search will provide the information needed.


Once the first controller is deployed and booted you can repeat the process for the second and third controllers. Note subsequent deployments do not require a password to be set as shown below.


Once all three controllers have been deployed you should see green ticks against the status along with green squares showing good peer connectivity.


Now NSX Controllers have been deployed in the environment the next step is to configure logical switches using VXLAN encapsulation and this will be covered in part 5.

To read our NSX solution brief, to book a meeting to discuss NSX with Ben or for more information on VMware NSX, click the button below:  

To read other articles within this series, click below: