This is a follow-up to my previous post regarding the Nexus 1000v. Now that I help set the stage for what the Nexus 1000v really is, we can start looking at what is needed to get one up and running.
The Cisco install guide for the Nexus 1000v is a great reference, and I’ll help clarify and fill in the gaps the best I can. I won’t regurgitate too much of the steps in the install guide, so you will want to use the install guide for sure.
First let’s talk about the prerequisites ::
vCenter Server — In most cases, we have a data center of some sort with multiple ESX hosts running. Each ESX host has its own Virtual Machines running. So within our data center, it’s a good idea to define a cluster –or grouping of ESX hosts. It’s beneficial to group our ESX servers in a cluster because we can take advantage of some of the bells and whistles with VMware such as vMotion and high availability. vMotion is cool because if we need to take a server down for maintenance, we can drag and drop the VM to another ESX host. vMotion can also be a dynamic process if there is a unforeseen ESX server failure. So we define our data center, put our ESX servers in one or more clusters and have our VM’s running on each ESX server. The hierarchical structure is one of the benefits of vCenter because we now can centrally manage all of our ESX hosts from a single view. Instead of using the vSphere client to connect to each ESX server separately, we connect our vSphere client to the vCenter server which allows us to manage a whole data center of ESX hosts and their associated VM’s. Most importantly, we must be running vCenter server because that’s what the Nexus VSM communicates with directly.