Configuration Data Locations for the vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS)

I recently received a question on where the configuration data for a vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) lives regarding the vCenter Server. As you may already know, most all VMware documentation states three places:

  1. vCenter Server
  2. Host Cache: /etc/vmware/dvsdata.db
  3. Host Configuration: /etc/vmware/esx.conf
    • /net
    • /net/dvswitch
    • /net/netstackinstance
    • /net/pnic
    • /net/vmkernelnic

But where on the vCenter Server is the data?

Diving into the vCenter Server Database

While there are a fair bit of posts on the Internet that do describe the location, they are commonly tied to troubleshooting activities. This makes it hard to find the information. The vCenter Server data for the VDS lives inside the vCenter Server database (often referred to as the VCDB).

By default, the tables follow the naming structure of VPX_DV* using the old acronym for the Distributed vSwitch (DVS) instead of the new one (VDS). Examples include:


If I drill into the VPX_DVPORT table and retrieve the first few rows, you can see the virtual machines attached to the various ports along with all of the other details that bubble up into the network charts available in vSphere.


This underscores the need to keep the database protected by way of routine backups and cleanup with maintenance jobs. I would suggest you avoid going into the table data unless you’re just looking or have a support engagement open in which you were asked to modify a value.