VMware vSphere Distributed Switch Best Practices

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March 01, 2012

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VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) is a key virtual network platform that is scalable and extensible. It also provides advanced networking features and operational simplicity that helps build a flexible network for the cloud. The advanced networking features such as NIOC, LBT, NetFlow, and Port mirror are available on VDS and not on a virtual standard switch (VSS). This paper walks through the design process of incorporating VDS and its advanced features in different customer deployments. Customers typically have various types of server hardware and network adapter configurations in their environment. Following standard server hardware configurations are considered during the VDS design discussions.1) Rack Server with Eight 1 Gigabit network adapters2) Rack Server with two 10 Gigabit network adapters3) Blade Server with two 10 Gigabit network adapters4) Blade Server with Hardware assisted multiple Logical network adaptersFor all these above hardware configurations different VDS design approaches will be presented along with their pros and cons. Along the way some best practices and important parameters of virtual and physical switches will be highlighted. Finally, some operational aspects of the VDS will also be discussed.