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One issue about VMware NSX it that it does not exist an evaluation or a trial code in order to study and test it. This because the code is still on a Nicira web site and is much more restricted compared to other VMware code.

Also VMware partner may be not entitled to download it, unless they don’t have the NSX competency. Individual can got an access only through one of the NSX official course: I’ve take the ICM on NSX 6.0 and the access on Nicira web site was granted me at the end of the course (but note only for the NSX for vSphere, not for the NSX multi-hypervisor)…

And it’s funny (and in my opinion also stupid) because if you are already a VCP, a course is not mandatory in order to become a VCP-NV… Also for partner, in order to gain the NSX competency you need to VCP-NV (or two people that follow the course)… so it could really difficult (how can you study something that you don’t have yet?) or costly (courses are not so cheap, and actually there are, at least for the on-line courses, long waiting queues).

Note that recently an NSX license has been granted also to all the vExpert’s annual license key (but you need to be a vExpert to download those keys).

NSX Components

One way for study for the VCP-NV (or just learning) without having access to the NSX code is just use online resources, video that show how it works, and test something on the VMware Hands on Lab. Another interesting solution instead of the HoL (but similar) is the NSX Hosted Evaluation (give it a try!).

Note: you can pass the VCP-NV without having a your own NSX lab: it require a good understanding of the product and some minim practice (the course lab or the HOL are fine). Don’t really expect to pass the VCIX-NV without a your own lab and a good practice!

There is also a great resource collection called NSX Link-O-Rama, you can start from there and choose what you prefer. Also also use this other link collection, still with a lot of useful resources.

Free courses or webinar

YouTube video

Official NSX training

Hands on Labs

  • HOL-SDC-1412 – IT Outcomes – Data Center Virtualization and Standardization
  • HOL-SDC-1424 – VMware NSX in the SDDC
  • HOL-SDC-1403 – VMware NSX Introduction
  • HOL-SDC-1425 – VMware NSX Advanced: this is really powerful and based on version 6.1. It include how to configure a DHCP relay, how work with OSPF and Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP), VPN, Load-Balancing and also security policy and service composer. Included are also Trend Micro AV and Riverbed Network monitoring of NSX and VMware networks .
  • HOL-PRT-1462 – Virtualized Data Center Security: VMware NSX and Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Virtual Firewal
  • HOL-PRT-1464 – Secure your SDDC built on VMware NSX & vSphere with Symantec Data Center Security: Server
  • HOL-SDC-1420 – OpenStack with VMware vSphere and NSX

Remember that each HOL is almost complete (most have 3 controller, 2 or 3 edge, and lot of interesting stuff) and that you can also use them just to make practice with the product (and not necessary only following the guide).

Web resources


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.