How to Backup & Restore a VMware vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (VDS)

One of the new features of vSphere 5.1 Web Client is to help you backup the settings of your existing Distributed Virtual Switch. You can keep this backup handy for either applying of a new DVSwitch or to restore the settings of the original DVswitch form where you took this backup.
This is a simple Export and Import task, however since the vSphere Web Client is new and most of the admins are not as familiar with the Web Client, as they are the C# client also referred as a thick client, I thought I will write this small article with screenshots. More importantly, I will also try and tell you in which situations such a backup would help.

Let’s have a look at the process to EXPORT the settings:-

1- Login to the vSphere Web Client with a user with Admin / Network Privileges.

2- Click on Networking -> Right Click on your dvSwitch -> All vCenter Actions -> Export 

3- Choose to Save either the DVS settings only or DVS and Port Group Settings.
4- Click on Yes to confirm the export.
5- On the next Screen give this file a name and save it on a desired location on your computer.
Now, let’s have a look at the process to IMPORT the settings:-

1- Login to the vSphere Web Client with a user with Admin / Network Privileges.

2- Click on Networking -> Right Click on your dvSwitch -> All vCenter Actions -> Restore

3- Select the backup file from which you wish to restore the settings of the dvSwitch.
4- Click on Next, confirm the settings and click on Finish.


Things to remember:-

While I was playing around with this backup, there are a few things which I learnt from my mistakes. Here are a few things you should know about this backup:-
a) This backup & restore does not re-creates the DVS, it helps you backup and restore configuration of a DVS.
b) You can use this backup to apply these settings across different DVS switches.
c) You need to create a DVS switch yourself and then apply these settings.
d) You can only Backup and Restore from a vSphere Web Client and not the C# client.
e) You can backup or restore the configuration of an onlder DVS as well such as 4.0, 4.1, 5.0 versions of DVS.
Enjoy the great features of DVS 5.1 and vSphere web client, this is an intelligent Virtual Switch which has loads to offer.
Share to spread the word & benefit others!!!

Published by Sunny Dua

Product Management Leader with 18 years of experience with Digital Transformation, Application Modernization, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Business Observability and AIOps. Led large product portfolios at VMware and now at AppDynamics. Passionate about defining vision, strategy and executing on complex product roadmaps to build successful and innovative products. A Stanford Graduate School of Business LEADer with interests in the field of Critical & Analytical Thinking, Strategic leadership and Design Thinking.

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