Migrating portgroups from a vSS to a VDS

Over the last few days I have a had a few people ask (this means you Tim Jabaut) about the process of migrating from a virtual standard switch over to a virtual distributed switch without any corresponding down time. I am guessing the reason for this question is more folks are planning and studying for the VCAP-DCA exam and this migration process is listed in Objective 2.1 of the blue print (my blog post covering that section located HERE). The process itself is pretty straight forward, but if you are/have not been exposed to virtual distributed switches it may seem daunting.

VMware has very good documentation on how to accomplish this task. The KB Article “Migrating virtual machines between vSwitch or PortGroups to VDS or dvPortgroups” is located HERE. A very detailed whitepaper covering the migration as well other VDS topics is located HERE. And one final resource can be purchased from Trainsignal. The “vSphere Advanced Networking Training” put together by Jason Nash (blog/twitter) covers this as well as a deep dive into other features of the VDS for those looking for more knowledge. I was lucky enough to win this video series at VMworld this year and it is very well done.

With all that being said in the following screen shots I will step through an example of migrating both a virtual machine portgroup as well as a VMkernel porgroups from a vSS over to a VDS without any loss of connectivity. In the example the VDS and required port groups have all ready been created and the ESXi host (esx02) has already been added.

NOTE – For this migration process to succeed without downtime your virtual standard switches need to be configured with at least two active uplink ports!

Screen grabs showing the current network configuration:

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Step 1 – From the “vSphere Distributed Switch” view click the hyperlink for “Manage Physical Adapters”:

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Step 2 – The “Manage Physcial Adapters” screen will be displayed. Click the hyperlink “Click to Add Nic” (in the screenshot I am selecting vmnic0):

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Step 3 – From the “Add Physical Adapter” select one of the active adapters from the vSS you are wishing to migrate port groups from (in the screenshot I am selecting vmnic0 from vSwitch0):

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Step 4 – The “Remove and Reconnect” dialog will be displayed confirming that you want to remove the vmnic from the vSS and connect it to your VDS. Click “Yes” to continue:

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Step 5 – In the “Manage Physical Adapters” you can now see that one vmnic has been added. I have included additional screen shots showing that connectivity to the host has not been lost:

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Step 6 – Now that there is a functioning uplink on the VDS it is time to migrate a portgroup. First will move the virtual machine “Server” portgroup. From the “Home” screen click “Networking:

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Step 7 – Right click on your VDS (exmaple shows VCAP-DCA) and select “Migrate Virtual Machine Networking” from the selection list:

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Step 8 – The “Select Networks” dialog will be displayed. Using the dropdown boxes select the “Source Network” as well as the “Destination Network”. In the example below I will be migrating the “Server” portgroup from the vSS over to the “Server (VCAP-DCA)” portgroup on the VDS:

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Step 9 – Select the virtual machines you wish to migrate. I am selecting “vesx02”, notice in the “Destination Network” column it is listed as “Accessible”:

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Step 10 – In the “Ready to Complete” screen, click “Finish”:

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Step 11 – Back in the “Networking” inventory view I selected the “Server” portgroup under the VDS and select the “Virtual Machines” tab in the navigation bar. The newly migrated virtual machine is now listed:

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Step 12 – Next we will migrate over the VMkernel portgroups, “Management Network” and “vMotion”. Going back to the VDS view on the ESXi host click the “Manage Virtual Adapters” hyperlink:

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From the “Manage Virtual Adapters” dialog click the “Add” hyperlink:

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Step 13 – Select the radial for “Migrate existing virtual adapters”:

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Step 14 – In the “Network Connectivity” screen I have select both the “vMotion” and “Management Network” virtual adapters and using the drop down menu selected the corresponding portgroups to migrate them to:

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Step 15 – On the “Ready to Complete” screen verify the changes you are about to make are correct and click “Finish”:

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Step 16 – Once the task has completed, in the “Manage Virtual Adapters” the newly migrated VMkernel ports will be listed. Click “Close”:

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Step 17 – Now with the virtual machine and VMkernel ports migrated we need to move the second uplink from the vSS over to the VDS to give us redundancy. Click the “Manage Physical Adapters” hyperlink:

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Step 18 – The “Manage Physcial Adapters” screen will be displayed. Click the hyperlink “Click to Add Nic” (in the screenshot I am selecting vmnic1):

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Step 19 – From the “Add Physical Adapter” select the active adapter from the vSS you are wishing to migrate (in the screenshot I am selecting vmnic1 from vSwitch0):

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Step 20 – The “Remove and Reconnect” dialog will be displayed confirming that you want to remove the vmnic from the vSS and connect it to your VDS. Click “Yes” to continue:

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Step 21 – In the “Manage Physical Adapters” you can now see that both vmnics have been added. Click “OK” to finish:

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Step 22 – The finished product. In the screenshot below you can see that all portgroups have all been successfully migrated over as well as both vmnics to the VDS:

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I know that is a lot of screen shots to go through, but trust me doing it in a real environment can go very quickly.

Thank you for reading and please share any comments or feed back below.

-Jason

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