Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Robert Burns
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee




This document describes a scenarion where you have accidently deleted the VSM, and now are left with the DVS still showing in vCenter.


DVS and Nexus 1000v

A DVS is a distributed virtual switch.  VMware introduced the concept.  On a VMware DVS, the vCenter is used as a control plane and the host is used as the data plane.  Each ESX host gets a copy of the switch config for when vcenter goes down.  This ensures traffic is forwarded.

For the N1k, the VSM is used as the control plane.  The VEM is the data plane.  vCenter is used for management of which VEM's will connect to which VSM's. The VEM is a line card.  However, just like some real world  equipment, the line card can still forward traffic for what it is  already programmed for if it has enough brains in it.


Conditions / Environment

Nexus 1000v & Any version of vCenter.


Cause / Problem Description

The  DVS must be gracefully removed from the VSM before deleting it.  The  workaround around if you've accidently deleted the VSM first is below.



  1. Deploy a temporary VSM
  2. Restore the startup config (or at least restore the previous switchname)
  3. You can use the command "vmware vc extension-key <extension-id>" to have a new CP connect to the existing DVS.
  4. The extension id here in this command should be the same one that is  tied down to the DVS.  You can find the key using the one of two ways:
    • In vCenter navigate to the Networking View
    • Select the DVS in the Right navigation pane.
    • Click on the Summary tab on the right.
    • The Extension key is listed under Annotations
    • Go to the VC's mob by pointing your browser to it [ https://<VC_IP_ADDR>/mob]
    • Go to rootFolder 'group-d1'
    • Find your datacenter from 'childEntity' containing Datacenter-IDs  [When you click on a datacenter, you will find a name associated with  it]
    • From your datacenter, go to networkFolder [Eg: group-n6]
    • From the network folder select the child entity [Eg:group-n373]
    • In the 'childEntity' click on your dvs [eg: dvs-7]
    • Under the DVS "config" attribute, you can find the extension key in use
  5. Assign the extension key id to the VSM using "vmware vc extension-key <extension-id>".
  6. Once you key in this extension key, verify the new extension key on the CP using "show vmware vc extension-key".
  7. Save and reboot the VSM.
  8. Delete the extension key present on the VC using MOB. (Unregister extension API):


  • Goto the extension manager [https://<VC_IP_ADDR>/mob/?moid=ExtensionManager]
  • Click on Unregister extension [https://<VC_IP_ADDR>/mob/?moid=ExtensionManager&method=unregisterExtension]
  • Paste "Cisco_Nexus_1000V_<DVS TO RECOVER's KEY>" (your extension key attached to the DVS) and click on "Invoke Method"


8.  Now you are ready to re-register the extension. If you are  getting the .xml file through the browser, make sure you refresh the  browser before downloading the XML file


9.   Re-register the extension plugin


10. Setup the SVS connection properties (VC IP, Port, Datacenter name etc)


11. 'Connect' for your svs connection


12.  Last but not least, gracefully remove the DVS using "no vmware dvs" from the SVS context on the VSM.


Once you verify the DVS removes from vCenter, you can delete the temporary VSM safely.


Related Information

Nexus 1000V Recovery from Failed VEM
Nexus 1000v Port-Channel Best Practices

Level 1
Level 1

oh my lord!  i have been chasing this one down for hours and hours and this was the easiest process to follow.  thank you so much.  worked like a champ.

Getting Started

Find answers to your questions by entering keywords or phrases in the Search bar above. New here? Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the community: