Deep Dive in to Virtualization & Cloud

How to Upgrade NSX Manager

VMware NSX is the network virtualization platform that enables the implementation of virtual networks on your physical network and within your virtual server infrastructure. VMware NSX Data Center delivers virtualized networking and security entirely in software, completing a key pillar of the Software-defined Data Center (SDDC), and enabling the virtual cloud network to connect and protect across data centers, clouds, and applications. In this blog I am upgrading my NSX-V version 6.4.5 to version 6.4.6

Before starting the upgrade Check the release notes for version-specific information, including known issues that affect your installation and version. Verify that the current vSphere and ESXi versions are compatible with the NSX Data Center for vSphere version you are upgrading to, see the VMware Interoperability Matrix.

General Infrastructure Preparation

  • Verify that forward and reverse name resolution works and that the following systems can resolve each other’s DNS names:
    • NSX Manager appliances
    • vCenter Server systems
    • Platform Services Controller systems
    • ESXi hosts
  • If you are using a vSphere version earlier than vSphere 6.0 U3, and vSphere Update Manager is in use in the environment, ensure that the bypassVumEnabled flag is set to true in vCenter. This setting configures EAM to install the VIBs directly to the ESXi hosts even when VUM is installed or not available. See VMware KB.
  • Verify that you have a current backup of the NSX Manager, vCenter, and vSphere Distributed Switches. See NSX Backup and Restore.
  • Create and download a support bundle. See “Support Bundle Collection Tool” in the NSX Administration Guide.
  • Verify the working state of the NSX environment. See Verify the NSX Working State.
  • Download and stage the upgrade bundle, validate with md5sum. See Download the Upgrade Bundle and Check the MD5.
  • Verify that all vCenter users who manage licenses are in the LicenseService.Administrators group.

Once all prerequisites are fulfilled, we can start with upgrade in below order.

NSX Manager Preparation

  • Determine which NSX Managers must be upgraded in the same maintenance window.
  • If you have a cross-v Center NSX environment, you must upgrade the primary and all secondary NSX Managers to the same NSX version in a single maintenance window.
  • If you have multiple NSX Managers connected to vCenter Server systems that use the same SSO server, not all combinations of NSX Manager version are supported. You must plan the upgrade of your NSX Managers so that you have a supported configuration at the end of the maintenance window
  • All NSX Managers using the same version of NSX is supported.
  • NSX Managers using different version of NSX is supported if at least one NSX Manager has NSX 6.4.0 or later installed, and all other NSX Managers have NSX 6.3.3 or later installed.
  • Validate the NSX Manager file system usage and perform a cleanup if file system usage is at 100 percent.
  • Verify the NSX Manager virtual appliance reserved memory meets the system requirements before upgrading

NSX Controller Preparation

  • The NSX Controller cluster must contain three controller nodes. If it has fewer than three, you must add additional nodes before starting the upgrade. See “Deploy NSX Controller Cluster” in the NSX Installation Guide for steps to add controller nodes.

NSX Edge Preparation

  • If you have any vCloud Networking and Security 5.5 or earlier vShield Edge appliances, you must upgrade them to NSX 6.2.x or later before upgrading to NSX 6.4.
  • Verify the hosts have enough resources to deploy additional NSX Edge Services Gateway appliances during the upgrade, particularly if you are upgrading multiple NSX Edge appliances in parallel
  • For a single NSX Edge instance, there are two NSX Edge appliances of the appropriate size in the powered-on state during upgrade.
  • For an NSX Edge instance with high availability, both replacement appliances are deployed before replacing the old appliances. This means there are four NSX Edge appliances of the appropriate size in the powered-on state during upgrade of a given NSX Edge. Once the NSX Edge instance is upgraded, either of the HA appliances could become active.
  • Verify that the host clusters listed in the configured location and live location for all NSX Edge appliances are prepared for NSX and that their messaging infrastructure status is GREEN. If the status is green, the hosts are using the messaging infrastructure to communicate with NSX Manager instead of VIX.

Upgrade NSX Manager

You must upgrade the NSX Manager through its web interface before you can create an upgrade plan for the other NSX Data Center for vSphere components. If you are upgrading a cross-v Center NSX environment, you must upgrade all NSX Manager appliances before creating the upgrade plan. When you upgrade NSX Manager to NSX 6.4.1 or later, a backup is automatically taken and saved locally as part of the upgrade process.

Log in to the NSX Manager virtual appliance. From the home page, click Upgrade

Click Upload Bundle, and then click Choose File.

Browse and select the Upgrade Bundle downloaded and click Continue to Upload

In the Upgrade dialog box select whether you need to enable SSH and need to participate CIEP and click on Upgrade.

You can see the upgrade status on the web interface. Wait until the up gradation complete.

Click Close to complete the up gradation

Login to the Web Interface again and check the Summary to see the upgraded version like below.

Upgrade Other NSX Components

When you plan an upgrade, you have two options: the system can create an upgrade plan, which includes all components, or you can create a custom upgrade plan, and select which components are upgraded

Login to vCenter Web Client and navigate to Networking & SecurityInstallation and UpgradeUpgrade

Click Plan Upgrade and select your Upgrade Plan

  • To manage which components are upgraded, select Plan Your Upgrade. Follow the prompts to create an upgrade plan.
  • To upgrade everything without configuration, select One Click Upgrade

As I am upgrading my Lab environment selecting all components together, For Production please take backup and upgrade components one by one. Make sure all components have High Availability to avoid downtime. Click Next

Note: – When upgrade begins, NSX Controller Cluster is the first component to be upgraded by default.

Here you can customize the cluster which you wan to upgrade and click Next

Select the Universal Logical Router which you wan to Upgrade and click Next.

Select the Distributed Logical Router Control VM and Edge Appliances you want to upgrade, also you can customize one at a time and click Next.

Select the Guest Introspection VM and click Next.

Review the plan and click on Start Upgrade to proceed with Upgradation

You can see the NSX Controller Cluster Upgradation Status in below window

Also, you can see the overall components up gradation status like below

Once NSX Controller cluster upgrade complete, click RESUME to proceed with rest of the components

Now you can see the cluster up gradation status on below window

Note: – The hosts are put into maintenance mode and rebooted if required. If your cluster is part of DRS enabled cluster, DRS will put the hosts in maintenance mode in a controller mode with out making any VM downtime. If DRS is not enabled all VMs should be powered off manually to complete the up gradation.

Also, you can see the overall components up gradation status like below

Once Host Cluster upgrade complete, click RESUME to proceed with rest of the components

Now you can see the DLR and ESG appliance upgrade status on below window

Now you can see the NSX Edge appliance upgrade also completed, Click RESUME to complete the Upgrade

To make this NSX series more understandable, i am splitting this in to multiple blogs

Part 1 – What is VMware NSX

Part 2 – NSX Manager 6.4.x Installation & Configuration

Part 3 – How to Install Microsoft CA Signed Certificate In NSX Manager

Part 4 – VMware NSX 6.4.x Configuration

Part 5 – VMware NSX Logical Switching and DLR Configuration

Part 6 – VMware NSX Edge Configuration

Part 7 – How to Upgrade NSX Manager


If you have any comments, please drop me a line.
I hope this article was informative, and don’t forget to buy me a coffee if you found this worth reading.

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About Me

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Welcome to my blog! I’m Vysakh Nair, a Cloud Architect at Presight, a G42 company. With over 17 years in IT infrastructure, I have honed my skills in Azure, AWS, and VMware technologies. My expertise extends to both Microsoft and Linux environments, and I thrive on tackling challenges in Storage and Networking technologies. Join me as I share insights and experiences from my journey in the world of cloud architecture and IT infrastructure. Continue Reading