Deploy Nexus 1000v to ESXi to learn NX-OS commands

In this guide, we are going to deploy N1Kv virtual switch to ESXi using the ovf/ova solely for the purpose of learning NX-OS rather than what’s it made for – vSphere VM networking. Therefore, we will not be concerned with the intricate requirements for a successful N1Kv deployment for ESXi hosts.

Download the Nexus 1000V bundle from Cisco. You will need a Cisco SSO account. The bundle I download is a zip file Nexus1000v.4.2.1.SV2.1.1. It has both ova (single file) and ovf (multiple files). I used the ova because ovf didn’t work for me.

1) In vSphere client File-> Deploy OVF Template.

2) Browse to the ova file location which is in my case
Drive:\Nexus1000v.4.2.1.SV2.1.1\VSM\Install\nexus-1000v.4.2.1.SV2.1.1.ova and click Next twice.

3) Accept the EULA (You don’t have a choice, do you?).

4) In the next screen, you have the option to name your appliance.

5) Then select the Datacenter where you want to deploy it. If you don’t, you can’t proceed.

6) In the Deployment Configuration screen you have a choice 3 options. For this use case, pick “Manually Configure Nexus 1000v”.

7) Next select the Cluster, Storage and Network. I use the default for storage. As for network, you need to configure network for Control, Mgmt and Packet. Since my purpose here is just to have NX-OS for testing and not for VM networking, I just choose the same for all.

8) In the properties screen, there are some values already filled. You can skip that and click Next.

9)Finally click “Finish” and the appliance is deployed. Quicker than I could type this line!

10) Open the appliance VM console and power it on.

11) You are asked to provided the admin password.

12) For HA role, I use standalone. Once again, because this is the intended use case here.

13) Pick a domain ID within the range.

14) You have the option of doing basic configuration using the setup wizard or manually configure later. I choose yes and then answered n for most questions except the following

  • Switch Name
  • mgmt0 and default gateway so I can configure the mgmt IP
  • ssh so I can ssh to the switch
  • http-server (only because the default is yes, I don’t need it for my use case)
  • Save the configuration

If you answered no to basic configuration setup, manually configure switch name, mgmt0 and enable ssh configure.

interface mgmt0
ip address
vrf context management
ip route
feature ssh
copy run start


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