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.
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.