Why Networking Vendors Should Consider Open vSwitch

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Sep 17, 2010


Server virtualization is a task normally led by an organization's server administrators and often with little or no help from the networking side. According to this report on Network World it makes no sense for virtualization vendors like Citrix (CTXS), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), and VMware (VMW) to recreate the richness of physical L2 switches in a virtual environment. The article goes on to offer two alternatives: eliminate virtual switches and do all switching at the physical layer via the Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA), or Open vSwitch.


A collaborative and open effort would provide advanced virtual switching functionality.

"In my mind, it makes no sense for virtualization vendors like Citrix, Microsoft, Oracle, and VMware to recreate the richness of physical L2 switches in the virtual world. So what can be done? Well one alternative is to eliminate virtual switches entirely and do all switching at the physical layer via the Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) standard being developed in the IEEE.

"I believe this will happen but in the meantime there is another alternative being discussed this week at the Citrix Industry Analyst Event -- Open vSwitch. As described on the Apache web site, 'Open vSwitch Open vSwitch is a multilayer virtual switch licensed under the open source Apache 2.0 license. The goal is to build a production quality switch for VM environments that supports standard management interfaces (e.g. NetFlow, RSPAN, ERSPAN, CLI), and is open to programmatic extension and control.'"

Read the Full Story at Network World

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