How does VMware vSwitch

vSwitch - Build virtual networks with a system

The vSwitch types in detail

As seen, there are two different virtual switch types in VMware vSphere, the vNetwork Standard Switch (vSS) and the vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS). Both represent an ISO Layer 2 Ethernet switch, but do not offer all of the properties of a physical Layer 2 switch. So is z. B. STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) not implemented. The standard switch has been around since ESXi version 3.0. The distributed switch was introduced by VMware with ESXI 4.0 and continuously developed further with vSphere versions 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0, or equipped with additional functions. It offers more flexibility and significantly more functions than modern technology. In addition to the basic layer 2 switch functionality, as well as VLAN support, NIC streaming, CDP support (Cisco Discovery Protocol) and "traffic shaping starting", which the standard switch also offers, the distributed switch supports, among other things " Incoming traffic shaping ", Net Flow, LLDP, port mirroring, PVLAN, traffic filter, SR-IOV, LACP / LAG support and also a large number of functions for network monitoring and troubleshooting. VMware lists the details on its product page. Unfortunately, the use of the distributed switch requires at least an Enterprise Plus license.

The vNetwork Distributed Switch

In addition to the larger range of functions, the distributed switch, as the name suggests, also differs in its "provisioning philosophy". It works across all connected hosts in a data center and allows central provision, management and monitoring of virtual networks. If the user configures a vSphere Distributed Switch in the vCenter, the configuration made once is passed on to all hosts in the data center that are assigned to the switch. This facilitates z. For example, when migrating virtual machines between hosts, maintaining a consistent network configuration.

For example, if you set up vMotion with standard switches, the system administrator must pay attention to details such as: B. Port groups of the same name on the target host's vSwitch for the migration to work. The vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS), on the other hand, works like a "higher-level" configuration location in the vCenter. The system administrator only has to set up a dvSwitch once, with the port groups and the uplinks, and vCenter then creates a corresponding "normal" virtual switch on each ESXi host assigned to the vDS. An example: if the system administrator wants to operate 20 VLANs on 10 ESXi hosts in the cluster, he would have to manually set up at least 200 port groups with standard switches.