You create and manage virtual networks on a vSphere Distributed Switch by adding hosts to the switch and connecting their network adapters to the switch. To create uniform networking configuration throughout multiple hosts on the distributed switch, you can use a host as a template and apply its configuration to other hosts.

You can add new hosts to a vSphere Distributed Switch, connect network adapters to the switch, and remove hosts from the switch. In a production environment, you might need to keep the network connectivity up for virtual machines and VMkernel services while you manage host networking on the distributed switch.

To manage the networking of your vSphere environment by using a vSphere Distributed Switch, you must associate hosts with the switch. You connect the physical NICs, VMkernel adapters, and virtual machine network adapters of the hosts to the distributed switch.

For hosts that are associated with a distributed switch, you can assign physical NICs to uplinks on the switch. You can configure physical NICs on the distributed switch for multiple hosts at a time.

Migrate VMkernel adapters to a distributed switch if you want to handle the traffic for VMkernel services by using only this switch and you no longer need the adapters on other standard or distributed switches.

Create a VMkernel adapter on hosts associated with a distributed switch to provide network connectivity to the hosts and to handle the traffic for vSphere vMotion, IP storage, Fault Tolerance logging, and Virtual SAN. You can create VMkernel adapters on multiple hosts simultaneously by using the Add and Manage Hosts wizard.

To manage virtual machine networking by using a distributed switch, migrate virtual machine network adapters to labeled networks on the switch.

If a host is running ESXi 5.1 or earlier, you can change the maximum number of distributed ports on the proxy switch on the host.

If you plan to have hosts with a uniform networking configuration, you can select a host as a template and apply its configuration for physical NICs and VMkernel adapters to other hosts on the distributed switch.

Remove hosts from a vSphere distributed switch if you have configured a different switch for the hosts.