You cannot remove a host – VDS in use

Hello there,

I wanted to do some serious playing with vSphere 6 to do my VCP6-DCV delta exam.  I have heard it is harder then expected.  Plus, some of the stuff in 6.0 Update 1 is exciting so I want to be ready when it drops in the next week or two.  So I went to carve off two hosts in my lab 5.5 cluster and hit an odd issue.  I got an error about VDS resource port in use.  This occurs after I did Maintenance Mode and in fact after I evacuated VMs and templates too from those two hosts.

The error is in this VMware KB article (but not the answer I need though).

So no KB help to help me get these two hosts out of the cluster.  I removed the VMKs from the two hosts and that did not help.  When I look closely at the errors, I see that they are all referencing templates.  However, I cannot turn them into VMs so I can power them up and let them acquire new vDS ports.  So I removed them from inventory.  Now I can remove the hosts from VDS, and from the cluster successfully.

Okay, I got some error messages in my backup.  I had to remove the templates from my jobs, and add them back before they could be backed up again.  I suspect that is a MOREF type issue.

So what is the moral here?  Will this always happen?  I suspect it might – because the templates (as VMs) where using vDS ports that the two hosts were supplying.  And since they are back as templates now and powered off that cannot be changed easily.   So that means if it is templates in the errors you will need to remove and re add them – then update your backup.  If it is not templates, I suspect you may not have an issue but if you do you can power them up or or restart them and avoid the issue – I think.

Have I mentioned before I know of two customers with some smart guys working their virtualization environment and they don’t use vDS, but rather use PowerCLI to manage their standard switches?  And they have quite a few hosts.  And it all works good for them.

But, no matter, if this issue hits you, you can understand a little more about it and one possible way to get out of it.


  • Steve Kaplan – a very fun dinner companion – mentions he keeps templates on a local non – distributed switch since it is easier in multi – site setups.  Quite right.  I also think that when Content Libraries are more full featured they will help.

Have a great day!


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4 thoughts on “You cannot remove a host – VDS in use

  1. I’m not a huge fan of vDS, creates unneeded complications with managing and upgrading the environment. You lose the flexibility to easily remove a host from one vCenter and reprovision to a new vCenter. Notice how VMware has provided plenty of knowledge around the migration to vDS but nothing about the backing out back to standard switches.

    1. Very good points. I do know customers that use PowerCLI to get all of the functionality they need to easily deploy and manage Standard switches. When vDS work, they are pretty good. But when there are issues it is hard to like vDS!


  2. I ran into this problem with a template and removing a host from a vDS issue. I converted the template to a VM. Migrated the VM to a new host. Converted back to template. Them I was able to remove the host from the vDS.

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