You can upgrade vSphere Distributed Switch version 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, or 5.1 to a later version. The upgrade lets the distributed switch take advantage of features that are available only in the later version.

Before you begin

  • Upgrade vCenter Server to the version 5.5.

  • Upgrade all hosts connected to the distributed switch to ESXi 5.5.

About this task

The upgrade of a distributed switch is a non-disruptive operation, that is, the hosts and virtual machines attached to the switch do not experience any downtime.

Note:

To be able to restore the connectivity of the virtual machines and VMkernel adapters if the upgrade fails, back up the configuration of the distributed switch.

You can export the switch configuration before you upgrade vCenter Server if you upgrade from vCenter Server 5.1. If you upgrade vCenter Server from a version earlier than 5.1, back up the switch configuration after you upgrade vCenter Server to version 5.5.

If the upgrade is not successful, to recreate the switch with its port groups and connected hosts, you can import the switch configuration file with the Preserve original distributed switch and port group identifiers option selected in the Import Distributed Switch wizard.

See Export vSphere Distributed Switch Configurations with the vSphere Web Client and Import a vSphere Distributed Switch Configuration by Using the vSphere Web Client.

Procedure

  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the distributed switch.
  2. Right-click the distributed switch and select Upgrade Distributed Switch.
  3. Select the vSphere Distributed Switch version that you want to upgrade the switch to and click Next.

    Option

    Description

    Version 5.5.0

    Compatible with ESXi version 5.5 and later.

    Version 5.1.0

    Compatible with ESXi version 5.1 and later. Features released with later vSphere Distributed Switch versions are not supported.

    Version 5.0.0

    Compatible with ESXi version 5.0 and later. Features released with later vSphere Distributed Switch versions are not supported.

    Version 4.1.0

    Compatible with ESX/ESXi version 4.1 and later. Features released with later vSphere Distributed Switch versions are not supported.

  4. Review host compatibility and click Next.

    Some VMware ESX instances that are running on the distributed switch might be incompatible with the selected upgrade version. Upgrade or remove incompatible hosts, or select another upgrade version for the distributed switch.

  5. Review your settings and click Finish.

Results

After you upgrade the vSphere Distributed Switch, you cannot revert it to an earlier version. You cannot add VMware ESX hosts that are running an earlier incompatible version with the new switch version.