NSX isn’t just a few virtual machines that can be deleted – there are hooks into numerous vCenter objects and it must be removed properly.
Admittedly, removing NSX from an environment was not my first choice of topics to cover, but I have found that the process is often misunderstood and done improperly. NSX isn’t just a few virtual machine appliances that can be deleted – there are hooks into numerous vCenter objects, your ESXi hosts and vCenter Server itself. To save yourself from some grief and a lot of manual cleanup, the removal must be done properly.
Thankfully, VMware does provide some high level instructions to follow in the public documentation. You’ll find these public docs for NSX 6.2.x and 6.3.x respectively here and here.
There are many reasons that someone may wish to remove NSX from a vSphere environment – maybe you’ve installed an evaluation copy to run a proof of concept or just want to start fresh again in your lab environment. In my case I need to completely remove NSX 6.2.5 and install an older version of NSX for some version-specific testing in my home lab.
From a high level, the process should look something like this:
Remove all VMs from Logical Switches.
Remove NSX Edges and Distributed Logical Routers.
Remove all Logical Switches.
Uninstall NSX from all ESXi hosts in prepared clusters.
Delete any Transport Zones.
Delete the NSX Manager and NSX Controller appliances.
Remove the NSX Manager hooks into vCenter, including the plugin/extension.
Cleaning up the vSphere Web Client leftovers on the vCenter Server.
Are you tired of seeing SSH and Shell warnings on your ESXi hosts? If you are at all like me, it’s maddening to see yellow warnings and banners on hosts in the vCenter Server inventory – especially when it’s for something as simple as the ESXi Shell and SSH service being enabled.
Granted, what’s a minor annoyance in a lab environment might be a warning that’s taken seriously in a locked down production environment. In these sorts of environments, administrators will need to enable/disable SSH and Shell access on an as-needed basis. Without the alarms and banners, services may be left turned on accidentally.
If you are using vSphere 6.0 or later, there is a nifty new ‘Suppress Warning’ option in the vSphere Web client. It can be found on the summary page of an ESXi host with an ESXi Shell or SSH warning currently triggered.
As you can see in the above screenshot, there are separate alerts for both the ESXi Shell and for SSH as well as an option to ‘Suppress Warning’ on each. Although it may appear that each can be suppressed independently, clicking one of the ‘Suppress Warning’ links will disable both ESXi Shell and SSH warnings on the host.