Create a vSphere distributed switch on a vCenter Server datacenter to handle networking traffic for all associated hosts on the datacenter.

If your system has complex port group requirements, create a distributed port group rather than a default port group.


  1. In the vSphere Client, select the Networking inventory view and select the datacenter.
  2. Select Inventory > Datacenter > New vSphere Distributed Switch.
  3. Select a vSphere distributed switch version.
    Option Description
    vSphere Distributed Switch Version: 5.0.0 Compatible with ESXi version 5.0 and later. Features released with later vSphere distributed switch versions are not supported.
    vSphere Distributed Switch Version: 5.1.0 Compatible with ESXi version 5.1 and later.
    vSphere Distributed Switch Version: 5.5.0

    Compatible with ESXi version 5.5 and later. eatures released with later vSphere distributed switch versions are not supported.

    vSphere Distributed Switch Version: 6.0.0 Compatible with ESXi version 6.0 and later.
  4. Click Next.
  5. In the Name text box, type a name for the new vSphere distributed switch.
  6. Use the arrow buttons to select the Number of uplink ports, and click Next.
    Uplink ports connect the distributed switch to physical NICs on associated hosts. The number of uplink ports is the maximum number of allowed physical connections to the distributed switch per host.
  7. Select whether to add hosts and their physical adapters to the vSphere distributed switch now or later.
    If you select Add now, select the hosts and physical adapters to use by clicking the check box next to each host or adapter. You can only add unassigned physical adapters to a vSphere distributed switch during distributed switch creation.
  8. (Optional) Set the maximum number of ports on a host.
    1. Click View Details for the host.
    2. Select the maximum number of ports for the host from the drop-down menu.
    3. Click OK.
  9. Click Next.
  10. (Optional) Select whether to Automatically create a default port group.
    This option creates a distributed port group with default settings.
  11. Click Finish.

What to do next

If you chose to add hosts later, you must add hosts to the distributed switch before adding network adapters.

Network adapters can be added from the host configuration page of the vSphere Client, using Manage Hosts, or by using Host Profiles.