Import a stored configuration file to create a new vSphere Distributed Switch or to restore a switch that has been deleted earlier.

In vSphere 5.1 and later, you can import a distributed switch by using the vSphere Web Client.

The configuration file contains the networking settings of the switch. By using it you can also replicate the switch in other virtual environments.

Note: You can use a saved configuration file to replicate the switch instance, its host associations, and policies. You cannot replicate the connection of physical NICs to uplink ports or ports on link aggregation groups.


Verify that vCenter Server is version 5.1.0 and later.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to a data center.
  2. Right-click the data center and select Distributed Switch > Import Distributed Switch.
  3. Browse to the location of the configuration file.
  4. To assign the keys from the configuration file to the switch and its port groups, select the Preserve original distributed switch and port group identifiers check box and click Next.

    You can use the Preserve original distributed switch and port group identifiers option in the following cases:

    • Recreate a deleted switch.
    • Restore a switch whose upgrade has failed.

    All port groups are recreated and the hosts that have been connected to the switch are added again.

  5. Review the settings for the switch and click Finish.


A new distributed switch is created with settings from the configuration file. If you have included distributed port group information in the configuration file, the port groups are also created.