Exporting/Importing vDS Configuration in vSphere 6

This will be a very short post on how to export vDS configuration from one vCenter and importing it in another vCenter. Lets get started.

If you have several vCenter server in your datacenter and you want to have a consistent and identical naming schemes for your distributed switch across all your vCenters, then you can save your time and efforts of creating vDS/Port groups on each vCenter manually by using the export configuration feature of vDS.

Login to vSphere Web Client and select the vDS (which is fully configured) and right click on it and select Settings > Export Configuration.


You can export either only vDS settings or can include port group settings (Security policy, NIC teaming, vLAN ID etc) as well. I wanted both in my lab so I chose first option.


Click yes to save the exported file.


Login to destination vCenter via Web Client and navigate to Networking view and right click on virtual datacenter and select Distributed Switch > Import Distributed Switch.


Browse to the location where the export file has been saved and import that file and hit Next to continue.

Use Preserve original distributed switch and port group identifiers option only in following cases:

  • Recreate a deleted switch.

  • Restore a switch whose upgrade has failed.


On Ready to complete page, review your settings and hit finish to close the import Distributed switch wizard.


And that’s it. You can verify presence of all portgroups and all settings at vDS and portgroup level.


There is a very good discussion on VMTN regarding ‘Preserving original distributed switch and port group identifiers’ which list some challenges faced by folks when using this option.

Additional Reading

Migrating a DVS and Host from one vCenter to another

Migration of a vDS to a new vCenter – Important Things to Know

Migration of a distributed switch (vDS) to a new vCenter using Power-CLI

I hope you find this post informational. Feel free to share this on social media if it is worth sharing. Be sociable 🙂