If an ESXi host was connected to a Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS) and you were not able to properly remove it from the vCenter inventory, which cleans up the VDS as part of the removal, then you will be left with a stale VDS configuration.
Step 0 - Ensure that no VMs or VMKernel interfaces are using the DVS and Distributed Portgroups (DVPG) resources. Re-create the vSphere Standard Switch (VSS) and the respective portgroups and reconfigure your VMs and VMKernel interfaces before continuing. If you need assistance, please search online as there are many resources that outlines these steps and this will no be covered in this article.
Note: In theory, after Step 0 you could technically jump to Step 5 and just delete the VDS database but I prefer to clean up resources prior to that step but this also works if you are in a pinch.
Step 1 - Run the following command to list current VDS and associated uplink ports that are configured. In the example below, I have a VDS named foo with a single uplink vmnic1 which is consuming port 9. Your environment may be configured differently, so please make a note of these values as you will need it in the next steps.
Step 2 - Remove the uplink from VDS by running the following command and specifying the uplink, uplink port and VDS name.
esxcfg-vswitch --del-dvp-uplink=vmnic1 --dvp=9 foo
Step 3 - Delete VDS by runnning the following command and specifying VDS name.
net-dvs -d foo
Once the VDS has been deleted, what I have found (at least with the cswitch in ESXi 7.0 Update 3), is that a tangling DvsPortset-N is left when you run the following command:
Step 4 - Depending on the number of DvsPortset-N, you will need to run this additional command and replace the N with value observed from previous step.
vsish -e set /net/portsets/DvsPortset-0/destroy destroy
Note: If this command returns busy, it means there were still workloads or VMkernel interfaces using VDS that was not cleaned up as part of Step 0. You can ignore and move to next step
Step 5 - Next, we delete the VDS database file which is needed or else VDS will be re-created upon the next reboot.
rm -f /etc/vmware/dvsdata.db
Step 6 - Finally, reboot the ESXi host and the VDS should now be completely removed.