How to Enable SSH in NSX-T Manager 

VMware’s NSX-T has streamlined its network management by combining the NSX Manager and NSX controller into a single virtual appliance known as the “NSX unified appliance” or “NSX-T Manager.” This appliance offers a web-based user interface for easy management of the NSX-T environment and hosts the API server to handle API calls.

Although most network configuration and operations can be performed through the NSX-T Manager GUI, troubleshooting the NSX-T infrastructure may require a console or SSH access. This is especially true when dealing with non-responding or stale NSX-T Manager nodes or NSX-T Manager cluster nodes. It’s possible to enable SSH to the NSX-T Manager during the appliance deployment process, which is explained in-depth in my article on how to deploy the NSX-T Manager.

However, if SSH was not enabled during deployment, don’t fret. This article outlines a simple procedure to enable SSH in the NSX-T Manager. By following these steps, you can gain SSH access to the NSX-T Manager for efficient troubleshooting and maintenance of your NSX-T infrastructure.

Let’s enable SSH in NSX-T

Enabling SSH access to your NSX-T Manager is a straightforward process. First, log in to your vCenter Server and access the virtual machine console of the NSX-T Manager that you wish to enable SSH on.

Next, to start the SSH Service, input the following command:

start service ssh

While starting the SSH service on your NSX-T Manager is a quick task, it’s important to note that the service will not persist after a reboot. In fact, rebooting the NSX-T Manager may cause the SSH service to stop during boot.

To ensure that the SSH service is available during the boot process of the NSX-T Manager, you can execute the following command:

set service ssh start-on-boot

This command configures the SSH service to start automatically during boot and ensures that you will have SSH access to your NSX-T Manager even after a reboot. It’s a simple step that can save you time and frustration down the road.

NOTE: As with any system, it’s important to consider security when enabling SSH access to your NSX-T Manager. While SSH access can be a useful tool for troubleshooting and maintenance, it also presents a potential security risk if not properly secured

To mitigate this risk, it’s recommended to limit SSH access to only trusted IP addresses and use strong passwords or SSH keys for authentication. Additionally, it’s a good practice to disable SSH access when it’s not needed.

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