NSX Bytes: NSX 6.2 GA and NSX Manager Upgrade

NSX for vSphere version 6.2 was made Generally Available earlier today and there has been some significant updates and improvements to the Network Virtualization Platform from the 6.1.x releases. Most of the improvements revolve around the cross vCenter functionality and enhances to the Distributed features and dynamic routing. There are also a number of operational and troubleshooting enhancements.

For a detailed look at the new features and improvement have a look at the release notes here, or check out Anthony Burke’s post here. For me the cross vCenter functionality opens up a lot of possibilities to connect multiple vCloud Director Availability Zones and offer true geographically dispersed service offerings at the lower networking layers while for the pure networking guys there seems to be a number of enhancements to the BGP functionality which is one of the best features of the NSX Edge’s.

Upgrading NSX Manager from 6.1.4 to 6.2:

There is nothing too different in the steps to upgrade NSX from the previous versions however there are a few steps to be aware of that have been introduced with NSX-v 6.2. From an overall component point of view components must be upgraded in the following order:

  1. NSX Manager
  2. NSX controller
  3. Clusters and Logical Switches
  4. NSX Edge and Guest Introspection

NSX Manager Upgrade:

  • Take a backup of the NSX Manager VM
  • Snapshot the NSX Manager VM
  • Take a backup of the config from the NSX Manager Web GUI
  • Shutdown the NSX Manager

Here is where things change with 6.2. The following is contained in the release notes:

The memory and CPU requirements for installing or upgrading NSX Manager have increased. NSX Manager 6.2.x requires at least 16 GB of memory. Before upgrading NSX Manager, raise the NSX Manager virtual appliance’s reserved memory to 16 GB, or, for large-scale installations, raise it to 24 GB. For large scale installations, VMware recommends allocating 8 CPUs for NSX Manager.

If any of the following thresholds are crossed, the deployment is considered to be large:

100 hypervisors , 100 NSX Edges or 1,000 global distributed firewall rules

The requirements for large installations is now a fairly hefty 8vCPU and 24GB or vRAM for the NSX Manager which double the resources from the previous NSX and VSM versions.

Once the NSX Manager VM has been modified and powered back on…upgrade the Manager with the new build package.

 

The upgrade process, as with previous versions can take up to 20 minutes and once done you can log back into the NSX Manager GUI and view the build number to confirm the upgrade has been successful.

If you didn’t upgrade the vRAM of the VM prior to upgrade you will receive the following message upon logging in telling you to upgrade to at least 16GB of vRAM.

We are now running Version 6.2.0 Build 2986609. You will also notice the new Universal Sync Service in the NSX Manager Component management section…which is used for cross vCenter deployments.

The final step of the upgrade process is to restart the vCenter Web Client services to ensure any lingering previous version data doesn’t remain in the system. The Upgrade Guide specifies how do do this for the version 5 and 6 VCSA. Once that’s done you can login and under the Networking & Security section you should see the Upgrade Avaliable option appears under the Controller Cluster Status.

From here you can go through the usual upgrade steps which are listed in my previous NSX Upgrade series. I would also recommend reading through the online documentation which goes through the process in greater detail.

With that done, I’ll be keen to test out all the new functionality which will hopefully generate some more NSX related content.

References:

https://www.vmware.com/support/nsx/doc/releasenotes_nsx_vsphere_620.html

http://pubs.vmware.com/NSX-62/index.jsp#com.vmware.nsx.upgrade.doc/GUID-9B2AC925-4626-481B-BD6D-2F5998C41752.html 

http://networkinferno.net/release-nsx-6-2-is-now-live