Difference Between vSwitch & dvSwitch & Cisco Nexus

Here the few Major differences between the switches (vSwitch & dvSwitch & Cisco N1K switches) that the vSphere 5.5 supports and their features and differences:

Three Types of Virtual Switches are supported

  1. vNetwork Standard Switch (vSS)
  2.  vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS)
  3. Cisco Nexus 1000v (N1K)

vNetwork Standard Switch (vSS):
The vSS is Created and managed on a per-host basis and it supports the basic features such as VLAN, NIC teaming, port security, etc.

vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS)

The vDS is Created and managed at vSphere vCenter level and supports all the features of vNetwork Stand Switch (vSS) and more features like PVLAN, traffic management, NIOC, etc


Cisco Nexus 1000v (N1K)
The Cisco N1K is Created and managed by VSM and it supports the features that were typically available in Cisco hardware switches.

Here is the list of features supported by these three switches:


Capabilities                  vSwitch   dvSwitch  Cisco N1K
L2 Switch Yes Yes Yes
VLAN Segmentation Yes Yes Yes
802.1Q Tagging Yes Yes Yes
Link Aggregation Static Static & LACP Static & LACP
TX Rate Limiting Yes Yes Yes
RX Rate Limiting No Yes Yes
Management Interface ESXi Host vCenter Cisco CLI
PVLAN No Yes Yes
Network I/O Control No Yes Yes
Port Mirroring No Yes Yes
SNMP, Netflow, etc. No Yes Yes
Load Based Teaming No Yes No

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