It all happened today … the launch of vSphere 4. If you’ve been following the announcements beginning back at VMworld in September last year, you will know about many of the new virtual networking features incorporated under the banner of vNetwork in vSphere 4.
Just a few of these:
- vNetwork Distributed Switching. You now have three virtual switching choices to fit your environment. And, you can run all three simultaneously if you really want to (so long as you dedicate NICs to each).
- vNetwork Standard Switch—this is the same as the familiar vSwitch from ESX 3.5 and VI3.
- vNetwork Distributed Switch—the virtual switch control plane moves to vCenter to create a consolidated abstraction of a single distributed virtual switch that span multiple hosts. vDS incorporates a number of additional features such as Private VLANs, bidirectional traffic shaping and Network VMotion, and simplifies deployment, configuration and ongoing monitoring and troubleshooting. vDS incorporates third party virtual switch support and so is a prerequisite for the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Virtual Switch.
- Cisco Nexus 1000V—Cisco’s third party virtual switch implementation for vSphere. The N1k uses the same distributed virtual switch model as the vDS, but offers an extended Cisco Nexus/Catalyst feature set plus the familiar (if you’re a networking person) IOS cli (command line interface). You can, of course still manage the Nexus 1000V through vCenter Server.
And there’s more:
- VMXNET3—continuing the evolution of VMXNET and Enhanced VMXNET
- IPv6—extending the IPv6 support for guest OS’s introduced in ESX 3.5 to IPv6 support for the vmkernel and service console interfaces.
- VMDirectPath—enables direct control of PCI devices (such as NICs) from within a VM.
For more information, just head on over to the Resources section at vmware.com/go/networking