vSphere Standard Switch vs Distributed switch

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vSphere Standard Switches (vSS)

provides network connectivity to hosts and virtual machines. Standard switch can bridge traffic internally between virtual machines in the same VLAN and also link to external networks. Standard switches uses physical Network adapters (NICs) of the ESXi hosts as uplink ports on the standard switch which helps the virtual machines to talk to the outside network. Virtual Machines have it s virtual network adapters (vNICs) that will connect to the port groups on the standard switches. Every port group can use one or more physical NICs of ESXi host attached to it to handle its network traffic.For the Port group with no physical NIC connected to it will allow virtual machines to communicate only with the virtual machines connected on the same port group and will not allow to communicate to external network. In simple terms, vSphere Standard Switches need to be created on each individual hosts.

vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS)

provides centralized management and monitoring of the network configuration of all the ESXi hosts that are associated with the dvswitch. Distributed switch can be created and configured at vCenter server system level and all its settings are propagated to all the hosts that are associated with the switch. dvSwitch is designed to create a consistent switch configuration across every hosts in the datacenter. Network configuration and management for all the hosts that associated with the switch can be performed centralized on the vCenter server system. vDS is only available as part of vSphere Enterprise plus licensing and it’s not created by default.The dvswitch consists of two components, the control plane and the I/O or data plane. vSphere Distributed Switch is also referred as vDS (vSphere Distributed Switch and dvs (Distributed virtual switch).

 

 

Features Standard Switch Distributed Switch
Management Standard switch needs to managed at each individual
host level
Provides centralized management and
monitoring of the network configuration
of all the ESXi hosts that are
associated with the dvswitch.
Licensing Standard Switch is available for all
Licensing Edition
Distributed switch is only available for
enterprise edition of licensing
Creation & configuration Standard switch can be created and
configured at ESX/ESXi host level
Distributed switch can be created and configured
at the vCenter server level
Layer 2 Switch Yes, can forward Layer 2 frames Yes, can forward Layer 2 frames
VLAN segmentation Yes Yes
802.1Q tagging Can use and understand 802.1q
VLAN tagging
Can use and understand 802.1q
VLAN tagging
NIC teaming Yes, can utilize multiple uplink to
form NIC teaming
Yes, can utilize multiple uplink to
form NIC teaming
Outbound Traffic Shaping Can be achieved using standard switch Can be achieved using standard switch
Inbound Traffic Shaping Not available as part of standard
switches
Only possible at distributed switch
VM port blocking Not available as part of standard
switches
Only possible at distributed switch
Private VLAN Not available PVLAN can be created as part of dvswitch. 3 types of PVLAN(Promiscuous,
Community and Isolated)
Load based Teaming Not available Can be achieved using distributed switch
Network vMotion Not available Can be achieved using distributed switch
Per Port policy setting Policy can be applied at switch
and port group
Policy can be applied at switch, port group and even per port level
NetFlow Not available Yes
Port Mirroring Not available Yes

[source: vmwarearena]