You create a security group at the NSX Manager level.

If you are creating a security group based on Active Directory group objects, ensure that one or more domains have been registered with NSX Manager. NSX Manager gets group and user information as well as the relationship between them from each domain that it is registered with. See Register a Windows Domain with NSX Manager.


Log in to the vSphere Web Client.


Click Networking & Security and then click NSX Managers.


Click an NSX Manager in the Name column and then click the Manage tab.


Click the Grouping tab.


Click the Security Group tab and then click the Add Security Group icon.


Type a name and description for the security group and click Next.


On the Dynamic Membership page, define the criteria that an object must meet for it to be added to the security group you are creating. This gives you the ability to include virtual machines by defining a filter criteria with a number of parameters supported to match the search criteria.

For example, you may include a criteria to add all virtual machines tagged with the specified security tag (such as AntiVirus.virusFound) to the security group. Security tags are case sensitive.

Or you can add all virtual machines containing the name W2008 AND virtual machines that are in the logical switch global_wire to the security group.



Click Next.


On the Select objects to include page, select the tab for the resource you want to add and select one or more resource to add to the security group. You can include the following objects in a security group.

Other security groups to nest within the security group you are creating.


Logical Switch


Virtual App


IP sets

Directory groups


The AD configuration for NSX security groups is different from the AD configuration for vSphere SSO. NSX AD group configuration is for end users accessing guest virtual machines while vSphere SSO is for administrators using vSphere and NSX.

MAC Sets

Security tag


Virtual Machine

Resource Pool

Distributed Virtual Port Group

The objects selected here are always included in the security group regardless of whether or not they match the criteria in Step 4.

When you add a resource to a security group, all associated resources are automatically added. For example, when you select a virtual machine, the associated vNIC is automatically added to the security group.


Click Next and select the objects that you want to exclude from the security group.

The objects selected here are always excluded from the security group regardless of whether or not they match the dynamic criteria.


Click Finish.

Membership of a security group is determined as follows:

{Expression result (derived from step 4) + Inclusions (specified in step 6} - Exclusion (specified in step 7)

which means that inclusion items are first added to the expression result. Exclusion items are then subtracted from the combined result.