For those of you who have attempted a vMotion (whether that is within a vCenter Server or between different vCenter Servers (including across SSO Domains), if the VM is running on a Distributed Virtual Switch (VDS) and the version of the VDS is not the same between the source and destination (VDS 6.5 to VDS 6.7), the operation will fail with the following error message (UI and API):
Currently connected network interface 'Network adapter 1' cannot use network 'DVPG-VM-Network (VDS-67)', because the destination distributed switch has a different version or vendor than the source distributed switch.
This behavior is no different on VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) or at least, I thought it was, until I recently learned about a really neat feature that was introduced in the VMC 1.4p2 release, here is a snippet from the release notes:
Cross VDS version vMotion Compatibility
With this advanced configuration option enabled, bi-directional vMotion between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS can be achieved across different virtual distributed switch (VDS) versions (greater than or equal to version 6.0). This must be enabled on the on-premises vCenter.
It turns out there is actually a way to allow vMotions across different VDS versions, this is important for VMC because the software stack will always be using a newer version than what we ship to our onPrem customers. However, due to this limitation, we could not benefit from the latest VDS version but had to default it to VDS 6.0 to ensure that customers could migrate their workloads. The advanced setting mentioned in the release notes allows us to disable the strict compatibility check which is performed on the destination vCenter Server when a vMotion is initiated, this setting is now enabled by default on the VMC vCenter Server which is why you can perform migration across different VDS without having to do anything special on your onPrem vCenter Server.
UPDATE (01/02/21) – If you are running vSphere 7.x, an additional advanced setting must be configured called config.vmprov.enableHybridMode and set the value to true. For more details, you can refer to this VMware KB 79446. Thanks to reader Marc Alumbaugh for sharing this finding!
UPDATE (10/16/18) – With the release of vSphere 6.7 Update 1, customers can now also vMotion VMs from on-prem running on a VDS to VMC with NSX-T N-VDS.