Upgrading NSX Application Platform (NAPP) & NSX Features

In this post I will address the upgrade process for the NSX Application Platform (NAPP) and the NSX Features running on the NAPP platform namely NSX-T Intelligence from 3.2.0 to 3.2.1. VMware released the NSX-T Intelligence 3.2.1 update on 17th May 2022. NSX Intelligence 3.2.1 is a maintenance release that fixes some unwanted issues.

When I started out preparing for the upgrade and capturing the steps for this blog, I faced some issues with my setup. I could not see the NAPP 3.2.1 upgrade option in the upgrade co-ordinator. I asked around and tried finding some reference point but I eventually put it aside until this morning when reviewing someone else’s deployment with one of the NAPP specialists in VMware. He raised some points on vCenter versions and Tanzu Supervisor cluster versions so it prompted me to go back to my setup and make sure I had all the components running the latest versions. I noticed that I too was using an older release on my Tanzu cluster and proceeded to upgrade the Supervisor and the guest clusters.

Post upgrade, I went back to the NSX-T UI and the 3.2.1 NAPP upgrade option was visible to me – now I don’t know if there was something else not working on the public Helm Repository/Docker Registry. So I have captured the exact versions of all my components for reference:

  • vCenter 7.0.3 19717403
  • VMware ESXi, 7.0.3, 19898904
  • Tanzu Supervisor Cluster v1.22.6+vmware.1-vsc0.0.15-19705778
  • NSX-T Version 3.2.1.0.0.19801959
  • Kubernetes Version v1.21.6+vmware.1
  • NAPP Platform Version 3.2.0.0.0.19067744
  • NAPP Form Factor: Advanced

NAPP Platform Source version will be 3.2.0.0.0.19067744 and Target 3.2.1-0.0-19800104

Lets Get Started

Take note, my NSX-T Manager has been upgraded 3.2.1

The cool part about this upgrade is that I did not need to download any upgrade packages, the NSX-T Manager uses the the VMware hosted Helm and Docker registry to download the packages.

Step 1 – From the NSX-T Manager browse to -> System -> Upgrade and click Upgrade under NSX Application Platform

Step 2– Deploy Upgrade Coordinator – Click Deploy Upgrade Coordinator

Target Version will be 3.2.1

If you do not see the correct target Platform version at this point, I suggest going back to your Tanzu setup and make sure it has been upgraded to the latest release – assuming that you are using Tanzu.

NOTE: If your Kubernetes cluster does not have access to the Internet, download the Helm chart and Docker image files locally and use the URLs to those local copies.

Deploying Upgrade CoOrdinator

This will take a little time and will depend on your environment. Once the deployment of the upgrade coordinator completes I can see the current version and the target version. Click -> Continue with Upgrade

Step 3. Perform the Pre-Checks -> Click RUN PRE-CHECKS, ALL PRE CHECKS

This performs the pre-checks on the NAPP Platform and the services running on top of NAPP.

RUN PRE-CHECKS
PRE-CHECKS Successful

If your system returns any errors, do not proceed with the upgrade and attend to those first.

Step 4. Proceed to the upgrading NAPP window -> Click Next, at the bottom right

NAPP Platform upgrade

Step 5. Now -> Click Upgrade, this will upgrade the NAPP platform first.

***Do not power-off or reboot the nodes when upgrade is in process. They may be rebooted automatically as part of the upgrade process.***

You can monitor the upgrade process by expanding the arrow next to Cert-Manager

Cert-Manager Upgrade

Post upgrade of the Cert-manager

The same upgrade process can be monitored for Project-Contour, Platform and Metrics. These are upgraded in sequence. The Platform upgrade process took some time as it upgrades 21 different components

Platform Upgrade progress
NSX Application Platform

Step 6. Once all the components have been upgraded and the overall status reaches Success, perform the POST Checks -> Click Run Post Checks

NAPP Post Checks
Post Checks Run

Step 7. After the post checks are clear, you can click -> Next on the bottom right and proceed to upgrading NSX Intelligence.

NSX Intelligence upgrade

Step 8. Click -> Upgrade to start upgrading NSX Intelligence

Upgrading NSX-T Intelligence

Step 9. Once completed the overall status shows success and you can run the post checks again.

Step 10. Once the post check are complete and clear, click -> Finish on the bottom right.

Now we have successfully upgraded our NAPP platform and the NSX Intelligence service to 3.2.1.

The same can be checked and validated under the NSX Application Platform tab.

NSX Application Platform
NSX Metrics and NSX Intelligence upgraded to 3.2.1

Just a quick check on the status of NSX Intelligence, I see active flows

Summary

Make sure you are running the latest versions of vCenter and Tanzu Supervisor Cluster software to avoid any strange behaviour 🙂

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