vSphere Host Migration to N-VDS

vSphere Host Migration to N-VDS

This blog post describes the required steps in NSX-T 2.4 to migrate a vSphere Host Physical adapters and associated VMkernel interfaces from a vSphere Distributed Switch to the N-VDS.

Example use cases for migration to the N-VDS:

  • Micro-segmentation with NSX-T, which requires the N-VDS. For example current workloads are on a Compute vDS which require to be secured with NSX-T.
  • Servers with limited number of Physical NICs or customers having the requirement to limit the amount of physical connectivity towards Top of Racks switches to save costs on the network fabric.

In this blog post I will show how to migrate Phyiscal adapters vmnic0 and vmnic1, which are currently connected to a vDS, to a N-VDS. This migration example also shows how to migrate the associated VMkernel interfaces for vSphere Management and vMotion. Depending on your topology this step may not be required. This could be the case when you have for example different vDS for Management and Compute.

Make sure the NSX-T Manager, vCenter Server and vSphere hosts are on compatible versions:


VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi):

  • VMware vSphere 6.7 EP06 (Release name: ESXi670-201901001) is the minimum supported version with NSX-T 2.4.0 (KB 2143832)
  • VMware vSphere 6.5 P03 (Release Name: ESXi650-201811002) is the minimum supported version with NSX-T 2.4.0 (KB 2143832)

VMware vCenter Server

  • vCenter Appliance 6.7 U1b is the minimum supported version with NSX-T 2.4.0 (KB 2143838)
  • vCenter Appliance 6.5 U2d is the minimum supported version with NSX-T 2.4.0 (KB 2143838)


Make sure there is a vDS portgroup with ephemeral port binding setup, which is required for the uninstall mappings.

Create the required VLAN Segment in your VLAN Transport Zone.


Create an Uplink Profile for your hosts

Create the required IP Pool for the host TEPs.

Host Migration to N-VDS

Select the host which you want to migrate to N-VDS in the Host Transport Nodes page. Once selected click configure NSX.

Enter required name and optionally a description.

Configure NSX for this new transport node. Select the required Transport Zones and associated N-VDS name. Select the NIOC, Uplink and LLDP Profile. Select the IP assignment method for the TEPs and in this case the IP Pool created earlier. Click Mappings for install. Note that we need the current VMkernel interface details.

Review and note the VMkernel interface details for the migration and create the mapping for the VMkernel Adapter.

Next up is creating the Network Mappings for Uninstall. This is where we need the vDS portgroup with Ephemeral port binding configured. Configure the mapping for uninstall pointing to this vDS portgroup. Add the Physical NIC Mappings for Uninstall.

When ready click Finish to start the configuration of the host as NSX-T Transport Node and the migration of the interfaces to the N-VDS. Note that any running VMs on that host need to be powered off or migrated to another host.

It can take a while before the host is successfully migrated. Review the N-VDS after the migration.

Alternative Method

It is also possible to Migrate ESX VMkernel and Physical Adapters via the Host Transport Nodes Actions Menu.

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