Configuring VMware Distributed Switch (vDS) on the Nutanix Platform

  • 21 July 2020
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Nutanix cluster works with the vDS and you can use the following guidelines and recommendations to configure the vmk and VM interfaces to be part of the vDS.

Nutanix recommendations for implementation

  1. Keep the vSwitchNutanix, the vmkernel port (vmk-iscsi-pg), and the Nutanix Controller VM's virtual machine port group (svm-iscsi-pg) configuration intact. It should remain as a standard vSwitch and should not be migrated over to the vDS. Migrating the vSwitchNutanix to the vDS causes issues with upgrade, and also controller VM data path communication.


  1. Only migrate one host to a dvSwitch at a time. After migrating the host to the dvSwitch, confirm that the Controller VM can communicate with all other Controller VMs in the cluster.

  2. This ensures that the cluster services running on all Controller VMs continue to function during the migration. In general, one Controller VM can be off the network at a given time while the others continue to provide access to the datastore.

  3. Migrate all VMs except the Controller VM when you are migrating that particular host to dvSwitch. The datastore may become unavailable on the host being migrated because the external management vmk address may be unavailable during the migration. The external management vmk address or the vmk address in the same public subnet as the Controller VM is needed for Nutanix autopath functionality.

  4. Ensure that there are enough available uplinks to keep the host's vmk address during the dvSwitch migration. For example, if all the available uplinks are moved to a dvSwitch that is not configured properly, the host becomes unavailable on the network. This condition is not unique to the Nutanix configurations. See the VMWare documentation for details.

  5. If you are using the vmkernel port migration wizard for dvSwitch, ensure that vmk-svm-iscsi-pg is not automatically selected. This is a common configuration and can disrupt the host communication with the Controller VM on the vSwitchNutanix network.

  6. The Controller VM has two interfaces assigned to it. Assign one interface to the svm-isci-pg at all times. Assign the other interface to a port group that can communicate with the other hosts and Controller VMs over their public addresses.

  7. If pynfs is used, dvSwitch port group may need to be set to ephemeral. Else, use static binding for port groups where the Controller VM external network is connected.
    Pynfs can be detected by running the following command on any Controller VM.

To set up vDS, see the following VMware Knowledge Base articles.

Nutanix Knowledge Base Article:

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