Create a VMkernel adapter on hosts associated with a distributed switch to provide network connectivity to the hosts and to handle the traffic for vSphere vMotion, IP storage, Fault Tolerance logging, and Virtual SAN. You can create VMkernel adapters on multiple hosts simultaneously by using the Add and Manage Hosts wizard.

About this task

You should dedicate one distributed port group for each VMkernel adapter. One VMkernel adapter should handle only one traffic type.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the distributed switch.
  2. From the Actions menu, select Add and Manage Hosts.
  3. Select Manage host networking and click Next.
  4. Click Attached hosts and select from the hosts that are associated with the distributed switch.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Select Manage VMkernel adapters and click Next.
  7. Click New adapter.

    The Add Networking wizard opens.

  8. On the Select target device page of the Add Networking wizard, select a distributed port group.
  9. On the Port properties page, configure the settings for the VMkernel adapter.



    Network label

    The network label is inherited from the label of the distributed port group.

    IP settings

    Select IPv4, IPv6, or both.


    The IPv6 option does not appear on hosts that do not have IPv6 enabled.

    TCP/IP stack

    If custom stacks are available, select one from the list.

    Enable services

    You can enable services for the default TCP/IP stack on the host. Select from the available services:

    • vMotion traffic. Enables the VMkernel adapter to advertise itself to another host as the network connection where vMotion traffic is sent. You can enable this property for only one vMotion and IP storage VMkernel adapter per host. If this property is not enabled for any VMkernel adapter, migration with vMotion to the selected host is not possible.

    • Fault Tolerance traffic. Enables Fault Tolerance logging on the host.

    • Management traffic. Enables the management traffic for the host and vCenter Server. Typically, hosts have such a VMkernel adapter created when the ESXi software is installed. You can create another VMkernel adapter for management traffic on the host to provide redundancy.

    • Virtual SAN. Enables the Virtual SAN traffic on the host. Every host that is part of a Virtual SAN cluster must have such a VMkernel adapter.

  10. (Optional) On the IPv4 settings page, select an option for obtaining IP addresses.



    Obtain IP settings automatically

    Use DHCP to obtain IP settings.

    Use static IP settings

    Type the IPv4 IP address and subnet mask for the VMkernel adapter.

    The VMkernel Default Gateway and DNS server addresses for IPv4 are obtained from the selected TCP/IP stack.

  11. (Optional) On the IPv6 settings page, select an option for obtaining IPv6 addresses.



    Obtain IPv6 addresses automatically through DHCP

    Use DHCP to obtain IPv6 addresses.

    Obtain IPv6 addresses automatically through Router Advertisement

    Use router advertisement to obtain IPv6 addresses.

    Static IPv6 addresses

    1. Click Add to add a new IPv6 address.

    2. Type the IPv6 address and subnet prefix length, and click OK.

    3. To change the VMkernel default gateway, click Edit.

  12. Review your setting selections in the Ready to complete page and click Finish.
  13. Follow the prompts to complete the wizard.