Examine the organization of components that are connected to the distributed switch across the hosts in a vCenter Server.


  1. Navigate to the vSphere distributed switch in the vSphere Client.
  2. On the Configure tab, expand Settings and select Topology.


By default the diagram shows up to 32 distributed port groups, 32 hosts, and 1024 virtual machines.

Example: Diagram of a Distributed Switch That Connects the VMkernel and Virtual Machines to the Network

In your virtual environment, a vSphere Distributed Switch handles VMkernel adapters for vSphere vMotion and for the management network, and virtual machines grouped. You can use the central topology diagram to examine whether a virtual machine or VMkernel adapter is connected to the external network and to identify the physical adapter that carries the data.

Figure 1. Topology Diagram of a Distributed Switch That Handles VMkernel and Virtual Machine Networking

Topology diagram of a distributed switch that handles VMkernel and virtual machine networking

What to do next

You can perform the following common tasks in the topology of the distributed switch:

  • Use filters to view the networking components only for selected port groups on certain hosts, for selected virtual machines, or for a port.
  • Locate, configure and migrate virtual machine networking components across host and port groups by using the Migrate Virtual Machine Networking wizard.
  • Detect the virtual machine adapters that have no network assigned and move them to the selected port group by using the Migrate Virtual Machine Networking wizard.
  • Handle networking components on multiple hosts by using the Add and Manage Hosts wizard.
  • View the physical NIC or NIC team that carries the traffic related to a selected virtual machine adapter or VMkernel adapter.

    In this way you can also view the host on which a selected VMkernel adapter resides. Select the adapter, trace the route to the associated physical NIC, and view the IP address or domain name next to the NIC.

  • Determine the VLAN mode and ID for a port group. For information about VLAN modes, see VLAN Configuration.