To manage the networking of your vSphere environment by using a vSphere Distributed Switch, you must associate hosts with the switch. You connect the physical NICs, VMkernel adapters, and virtual machine network adapters of the hosts to the distributed switch.


  • Verify that enough uplinks are available on the distributed switch to assign to the physical NICs that you want to connect to the switch.
  • Verify that there is at least one distributed port group on the distributed switch.
  • Verify that the distributed port group have active uplinks configured in its teaming and failover policy.

If you migrate or create VMkernel adapters for iSCSI, verify that the teaming and failover policy of the target distributed port group meets the requirements for iSCSI:

  • Verify that only one uplink is active, the standby list is empty, and the rest of the uplinks are unused.
  • Verify that only one physical NIC per host is assigned to the active uplink.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the distributed switch.
  2. From the Actions menu, select Add and Manage Hosts.
  3. On the Select task page, select Add hosts, and click Next.
  4. On the Select hosts page, click New hosts, select from the hosts in your data center, click OK, and then click Next.
  5. On the Select network adapter tasks page, select the tasks for configuring network adapters to the distributed switch and click Next.
  6. On the Manage physical network adapters page, configure physical NICs on the distributed switch.
    1. From the On other switches/unclaimed list, select a physical NIC.
      If you select physical NICs that are already connected to other switches, they are migrated to the current distributed switch.
    2. Click Assign uplink.
    3. Select an uplink and click OK.
    For consistent network configuration, you can connect one and the same physical NIC on every host to the same uplink on the distributed switch.
    For example, if you are adding two hosts connect vmnic1 on of each host to Uplink1 on the distributed switch.
  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Manage VMkernel network adapters page, configure VMkernel adapters.
    1. Select a VMkernel adapter and click Assign port group.
    2. Select a distributed port group and click OK.
  9. Review the impacted services as well as the level of impact.
    Option Description
    No impact iSCSI will continue its normal function after the new networking configuration is applied.
    Important impact The normal function of iSCSI might be disrupted if the new networking configuration is applied.
    Critical impact The normal function of iSCSI will be interrupted if the new networking configuration is applied.
    1. If the impact on iSCSI is important or critical, click iSCSI entry and review the reasons that are displayed in the Analysis details pane.
    2. After you troubleshoot the impact on iSCSI, proceed with your networking configuration.
  10. Click Next.
  11. On the Migrate VM networking page, configure virtual machine networking.
    1. To connect all network adapters of a virtual machine to a distributed port group, select the virtual machine, or select an individual network adapter to connect only that adapter.
    2. Click Assign port group.
    3. Select a distributed port group from the list and click OK.
  12. Click Next and click Finish.

What to do next

Having hosts associated with the distributed switch, you can manage physical NICs, VMkernel adapters, and virtual machine network adapters.