VMware Networking Made Easy – Migrating a vSphere Host from DC-A to DC-B with NEW VDS

I am sure we have all had to migrate and move hosts around vCenter, it’s usually pretty straightforward. Right-click and move. In my environment, I have a datacenter in Sunnyvale and a datacenter in Phoenix – each location has its own independent virtual switching infrastructure. I prefer and for many reasons, the Virtual Distributed Switch – otherwise known as VDS. In this case the VDS does complicate things slightly, mainly because an individual VDS functions at the vSphere datacenter level. Its not too bad and I’ll show you how to get this done quick.

First you will want to place the host into Maintenance Mode. Now, typically you would right click and ‘move’ to host or drag and drop it into the new Datacenter. Maybe you’re thinking – let’s remove the host from inventory and re-add it…simple right? Well will not work because the host is registered with the vDS. You’ll get an error:After going through and trying a few different steps – for instance I created a Standard Switch with a ‘Swing’ IP Address and then I attempted to remove the vmnic adapters from the VDS and then I spent a while Googling around. To be honest, I didn’t find any real documentation on this process so here’s what I found to effective.

You’ll need console or crash cart (physical) access to your ESXi Host(s) because we’re going to reset the entire networking stack on the host. In my environment I utilize HP DL 360 Gen 9 servers which have iLO. Dell has DRAC – Cisco has CIMC – etc.

Resetting the Network is done by hitting F2 and logging in with the Root account to the ESXi host and navigate down to – Network Restore Options.

Now we’ll want to totally blow away the entire network configuration by choosing Restore Network Settings

Lastly, you will now be able to remove your host from vCenter.

With our networking reset, we’ll need to Re-IP the default vSwitch0, with your management IP address – in my case it was 10.122.210.14. You’ll also probably need to update the vmnics which you would like to use.

Now, add the host back to vCenter and add it to your VDS.

This process to create a VDS and add a host is super easy and fully documented – just follow the VMware documentation. Now you’re ready to rock out the new Datacenter with its new host and all is well in life!

If you have another process for migrating a host from one Datacenter to another Datacenter with a new VDS – share your comments below!

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