Thursday, 14 July 2016

Back to Basics - Part 11 Distributed Switches

In our couple of blog post related to Back to Basics Series we discussed about Virtual Machine Files (Part1), Standard Switches (Part2), vCenter Server (Part 3),Templates (Part4) vApp (Part 5), Migration (Part 6),Cloning (Part 7), Host Profiles (Part 8), Virtual Volumes AKA VVOL's (Part 9) Fault Tolerance (Part10) and we also discussed about the various tasks related to building Home Lab Part1Part 2Part 3,Part 4 and Part 5.

So here we are back again with another back to basics series in which will be focussing on Distributed Switches another important feature in vSphere.


I would Suggest before going further with Distributed Switches make yourself comfortable with the concept of Standard Switches.

  • Distributed Switch Works as a single virtual switch across all the ESXi host unlike the Standard Switch which is meant for single ESXi Host.
  • Distributed Switch is configured in VMware vCenter Server and the configuration done in vCenter Server is consistent across all hosts.
  • Distributed Switches are available with Enterprise Plus License.
  • Distributed Switch Architecture provides two planes Control plane (Resides in vCenter Server) and I/O plane (Hidden Virtual Switch Residing in each ESXi host).
  • Distributed Switch provides some advanced features which are not available with standard switches like PVLAN, NIOC, Net Flow etc.
  • NIOC can be used to configure bandwidth allocation for various type of traffic like (Virtual Machines, Management, vMotion, NFS, ISCSI,Fault Tolerance,vSphere Replication, VSAN, vSphere Data Protection).
  • NIOC allocates bandwidth using Shares, Reservation and Limits.
  • Private VLAN divides existing Primary VLAN into various other VLAN known as Secondary VLAN.
  • NetFlow is a network monitoring tool for monitoring the network and analyzing the Virtual Machine traffic flowing through distributed Switch.
  • Distributed Switch settings provides us to choose Port Binding settings to configure at port group level Static- Default Settings, Ephemeral - No Binding occurs.
  • Further Static Binding Provides us two port allocation options - Fixed (No ports will be created once all the ports are assigned) and Elastic (When all ports are assigned 8 New ports are created).

For Further information refer vSphere Networking Guide 

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