Differences between vSwitches and dvSwitches

There are not huge differences between a vNetwork Standard Switch (vSwitch, vSS) and a vNetwork Distributed Switch (dvSwitch, vDS). The big thing is the concept of dvSwitches being centralized in vCenter and using the concept of compliance to assign a dvSwitch to a host.

Both types of switches provide the following:

  • can forward L2 frames
  • can segment traffic into VLANs
  • can use and understand 802.1q VLAN encapsulation
  • can have more than one uplink (NIC Teaming)
  • can have traffic shaping for the outbound (TX) traffic

Other “features” of dvSwitches are the following:

  • can shape inbound (RX) traffic
  • has a central unified management interface through vCenter
  • supports Private VLANs (PVLANs)
  • provides potential customisation of Data and Control Planes
    • supports using the Nexxus 1000v

For more information on the concepts of dvSwitches and the differences between vSwitches and dvSwitches, check out this VMware KB Article.

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