VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) provides a centralized interface from which you can configure, monitor and administer virtual machine access switching for the entire data center. The VDS provides:
Use the following VDS features to streamline provisioning, administration and monitoring of virtual networking across multiple hosts:
The VDS provides the following monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities:
The VDS supplies the building blocks for many networking capabilities in the vSphere environment, including the following:
The VDS extends the features and capabilities of virtual networks while simplifying provisioning and the ongoing configuration, monitoring and management process.
vSphere network switches can be divided into two logical sections: the data plane and the management plane. The data plane implements the packet switching, filtering, tagging and so on. The management plane is the control structure used by the operator to configure data plane functionality. Each vSphere Standard Switch (VSS) contains both data and management planes, and the administrator configures and maintains each switch individually.
The VDS eases this management burden by treating the network as an aggregated resource. Individual host-level virtual switches are abstracted into one large VDS spanning multiple hosts at the data-center level. In this design, the data plane remains local to each VDS but the management plane is centralized.
Each VMware vCenter Server instance can support up to 128 VDSs; each VDS can manage up to 500 hosts.
vSphere network switch management plane and data plane diagram