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How to migrate service console / VMkernel port from standard switches to VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (1010614)

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This article provides steps to migrate the service console or VMkernel port from standard switches to a VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS).



  • Ensure that the dvPortGroup(s) used for the vmkernel or service console are configured to match the existing port group configuration on the standard switch (VLAN, Nic Teaming).
  • When a new uplink is in use for the dVswitch, ensure you have network connectivity to the uplink with the same or relevant VLANs trunked through. Compare the configuration of the new uplink with the existing uplink of standard switch to ensure they are configured identically on the physical switch.
  • When you are migrating the Management vmkernel or Service console, it is best practice to have access to the remote console of the ESXi host, in case the host gets unresponsive after the migration. 

To migrate one or more VMkernel or Service Console of one or more ESXi hosts from vCenter Server:

  1. Navigate to Home > Inventory > Networking.
  2. Right-click the dVswitch.
  3. If the host is already added to the dVswitch, click Manage Hosts, else Click Add Host.
  4. Select the host(s), click Next.
  5. Select the physical adapters ( vmnic) to use for the vmkernel, click Next.
  6. Select the Virtual adapter ( vmk) to migrate and click Destination port group field. For each adapter, select the correct port group from dropdown, Click Next.
  7. Click Next to omit virtual machine networking migration.
  8. Click Finish after reviewing the new vmkernel and Uplink assignment.
  9. The wizard and the job completes moving both the vmk interface and the vmnic to the dVswitch.

To migrate the service console or vmkernel of one Host:

  1. Click Host > Configuration > Networking.

    Note: This is not a cluster wide option.

  2. Click the Distributed Virtual Switch view.
  3. Click Manage Virtual Adapters.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Select Migrate existing virtual network adapters.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select the adapters you want to migrate.
  8. Select dvPortGroup from the dropdown.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Finish.

    Note: The migration does not interrupt traffic if the new Port Group and Uplinks are pre-configured properly.

To migrate an existing Virtual or Physical Adapter to a vSphere Distributed Switch using the vSphere Web Client with vSphere 6.x:

  • For hosts associated with a distributed switch, you can migrate network adapters from a standard switch to the distributed switch. You can migrate physical NICs, VMkernel adapters, and virtual machine network adapters at the same time.
  • To migrate virtual machine network adapters or VMkernel adapters, ensure that the destination distributed port groups have at least one active uplink, and the uplink is connected to a physical NIC on this host. Alternatively, migrate physical NICs, virtual network adapters, and VMkernel adapters at once.
  • To migrate physical NICs, ensure that the source port groups on the standard switch have at least one physical NIC to handle their traffic. For example, if you migrate a physical NIC that is assigned to a port group for virtual machine networking, ensure that the port group is connected to at least one physical NIC. Otherwise, the virtual machines on same VLAN on the standard switch will have connectivity between each other but not to the external network.
  1. Log in to the ESXi host using the vSphere Web Client.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Networking > Virtual switches.
  3. Select the destination distributed switch and click Migrate physical or virtual network adapters.
  4. Select the tasks for migrating networking network adapters and click Next.
  5. Configure physical NICs.

    1. From the On other switches/unclaimed list, select a physical NIC and click Assign uplink.
    2. Select an uplink and click OK.
    3. Click Next.

  6. Configure VMkernel adapters.

    1. Select an adapter and click Assign port group.
    2. Select a distributed port group and click OK.

      Note: You should connect one VMkernel adapter to one distributed port group at a time.

    3. Click Next.

  7. Review the services that are affected from the new networking configuration.

    1. If there is an important or serious impact reported on a service, click the service and review the analysis details. 

      For example, an important impact on iSCSI might be reported as a result from an incorrect teaming and failover configuration on the distributed port group where you migrate the iSCSI VMkernel adapter. 
      You must leave one active uplink on the teaming and failover order of the distributed port group, leave the standby list empty, and move the rest of the uplinks to unused.

    2. After troubleshooting any impact on the affected services, click Next.

  8. Configure virtual machine network adapters.

    1. Select a virtual machine or a virtual machine network adapter and click Assign port group.

      • If you select a virtual machine, you migrate all network adapters on the virtual machine. 
      •  If you select a network adapter, you migrate only this network adapter.

    2. Select a distributed port group from the list and click OK.
    3. Click Next.

  9. On the Ready to complete page, review the new networking configuration and click Finish.

Additional Information

See Also

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  • 39 Ratings