Migrating from a vDS to a VSS

So you need to remove a NSX enabled host from a cluster but first you need to migrate your host networking from the vDS to a VSS. There are a few ways to do this but by far the easiest is to migrate your vmkernel portgroups rather than recreate them manually Doing it this way preserves your IP config and saves you having to setup each of the vmkernel interfaces (Management, vMotion, iSCSI).

Note. This method assumes you have more than 1 NIC in your host/ vDS.

Firstly we need to identify and remove the NICs we will use to stage our portgroups during the migration (in our case we will use two nics) from the vDS and to make them available to be used in the VSS. Make sure that if you are tagging different vlans over different nics (i.e nics just for iSCSI) you know which NICs are tagged with what VLAN.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.42.51

We have removed NIC 0 and 2 from out vDS this can be done by finding the host you want to remove in the vSphere Client and clicking “Manage Physical Adapters”, on the next screen click remove next to the adapters you wish to remove. (It’s good practise to make sure your teaming and failover orders are set not to use the NICs you will remove)

Screenshot 2016-01-04 14.40.56

Once the NICs have been removed we need to create two Virtual Switches (in our case) ready to receive the migrated vmkernel portgroups.

Screenshot 2016-01-04 14.46.22

We can then click “Manage Virtual Adapters” next to where we clicked “Manage Physical Adapters” above.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.42.58

We then select the vmkernel interface we wish to migrate and click migrate.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.43.05

Select the switch the vmkernel portgroup will be migrated too and click next.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.43.10

Give the new portgroup a name i.e. Management/ vMotion etc (your existing vDs portgroup name can be used here).

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.43.16

If you are using VLAN trunking then specify the applicable VLAN as well.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.43.29

Now click finish and the wizard will create the new VSS portgroup for you.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.43.35

Repeat this process for each portgroup you need to migrate, as you can see below I have migrated 3 portgroups.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.47.17


If you have any VM’s running on this host you can now create your VM portgroups and migrate the VM’s on to these new portgroups at this point.

If we edit one of the portgroups we can see that its using the NIC we migrated over previously.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.47.36

Make sure to set the MTU if this is needed as migrating the portgroups does not always migrate the previous MTU value.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.47.48

Once you have migrated all your vmkernel portgroups over you can now go back and remove the remaining NICs from the vDS and assign them to the necessary standard vSwitch (VSS).

Make sure to set the correct teaming and failover order, and to go back and change the teaming and failover order on your vDS if you changed it at the start of the process.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.50.39

You can now safely remove the vDS from the host.

Screenshot 2015-12-23 10.49.18



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