Vmware vDistributed Switch

The vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS) is a much improved version of the virtual switch or vSwitch found in Vmware Infrastructure 3 (VI3). The distributed switch offers new features, is managed at the datacenter level in vCenter Server, and spans across esx hosts which simplifies administration. Third party developers can create solutions for the distributed switch using the vNetwork Appliance APIs. Distributed switches migrate runtime state during Vmotion migrations and support private vlans. Both the standard and distributed switch support the forwarding of layer 2 traffic and 802.1q VLAN encapsulation. And the new distributed switch now supports bi-directional traffic shaping.

I am glad that Vmware added the “Migrate Virtual Machine Networking” tool. This will help you move multiple vm guest from one virtual switch to another whether it’s a vSwitch or vDS. Check out the video which shows the basics of the distributed switch and one way you could migrate to vDS. There are many ways you can migrate to vDS but it will depend on your needs and your current setup. I have added a couple of links to documentation that will example the distributed switch and migration options.




VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch: Migration and Configuration
What’s New in VMware vSphere 4: Virtual Networking

vSphere4 Virtual Distributed Switch from Antone Heyward on Vimeo.

This video show the basics about the VMware Virtual Distributed Switch, how to set one up, configure, and migrate from the standard virtual switch.


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  1. 1

    Very nice guide.In the process of migrating a VMware lab environtment from vSwitch to Cisco nexus 1000v, and the migrate tool will be a really helpful tool.

  2. 2

    The 2 vnics(uplinks) configured while creating a distributed vswitch exist on 2 different physical systems(Ex:system1 and system2). i.e., one physical nic is connected to system1 and the other one is to system2.

    Is it possible to assign an uplink port which is physically connected to system1 to the virtual machines that are running on system2?

    • 3
      Antone Heyward

      You actually assign the vm guest to a dv port group and the dv port group could have an uplink from different physical systems assigned to it. So the short answer to your question is no.

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