• Alexander

Nexus 9000v on VMWare vSphere Hypervisor


If you are interested to deploy Nexus 9000v for testing purposes on a vSphere hypervisor, whether it is for testing specific features or just to learn new things, this short blog might come in handy as it explains how to connect initially through serial connection to your device to be able to configure the management interface so you can ssh to your device.



If you deploy the ova template (in this example nxosv-9.2.2.ova) make sure you map the interfaces to the correct networks you defined in the hypervisor (vSphere 6.5), by default 6 interfaces are available to you as shown in figure 1.2, in this example I used a VDS and created specific distributed port groups for specific configurations such as vPC peerlink, peer keepalive etc...


fig-1.2. Map distributed port groups to interfaces

Once the ova file has been deployed make sure to change the following parameters of your image before booting the vm, specifically on the tab Virtual Hardware, select Serial port 1 and on the drop down select Use Network and check Connected and Connect At Power On.


Depending on what you would like to achieve (in this case connect to the virtual console of the vm) select Direction Server. (client is when you would like to connect from the vm to another host).


Next is to define the Port URI, defined as the remote end of the serial port, basically specify the protocol telnet://<IP address of ESXi host where the vm is deployed to>:port (ex. telnet://10.10.10.1:12345) and as last option select I/O Mode Yield CPU on poll. This option is to make sure the serial connection is not using excessive CPUs.


fig-1.3. NX-OSv vm settings

The last configuration part that needs to be performed is to allow traffic on the ESXi host to the service serial port connected over the network and this needs to be performed for every ESXi host where you have a virtual nexus 9k running.


This setting can be found right click on the ESXi host in the navigator pane and select Settings and in the right pane select Security Profile and click edit. Look for VM Serial port connected over network and enable it.


fig-1.4. Allow access to Serial connection service

Once your device is booted you will see on the VM console :

  • Leaving grub land

  • <output ommitted>

  • Image hash: <hash numbers

fig-1.5. VM Console output on successful boot NX-OSv

this means your device has been booted and the output is transferred to the VM serial port we configured and you can now open a terminal and connect to the device.


fig-1.6. Telnet to newly created serial over network

Happy reading,


cheers


Alexander

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