Understanding Open vSwitch

To understand what Open vSwitch is, first we need to understand virtual switching and network layer access. Earlier the servers had to physically connect to the switch in the data center. This was supposedly inconvenient if the data center and the servers were geographically apart. In that case the whole data had to be copied on the local server and then the operation could be completed. But with the introduction of VMware servers were virtualized making it possible to have to connect to a Virtual Switch instead of a real one. This Virtual Switch is software that is inside a server which hosts Virtual machines.


Currently there are many options available in Virtual Switching. The three most popular among them are: (1) VMware Virtual Switch (2) Open v Switch and (3) CISCO Nexus 1000V. The first among them was the standard VMware virtual switch which was distributed along with VMware. But this switch had many problems and bugs and it was not free. The cre3ation of Open V Switch was the answer to the problems of virtual switching. It was created by a team hastily put together at Nicira, to make a virtual switch for open source. Just like Linux class Open vSwitch was a part of the open source projects. Later on it played a huge role in OpenStack training.

Open V Switch became much more than a simple virtual switch later on. It could support many virtual machine systems like port mirroring, VLANs etc and could operate both like a soft switch and also as a control switch. Some other ways Open V Switch has become a necessary part of Virtual systems and ultimately the cloud system:

  • It is critical for networking together virtual machines, which is the soul of cloud based servers.

  • Acts as the entry door for all Virtual Machines sending data or traffic to network.

  • Is excellent way to manage a muti tenant network virtual machines and cloud based computing.

  • Open v Switch also makes it possible to trade direct traffic between networks for maximizing their use.

Another major advantage of using Open v Switch is that it does not require particular software to run. As mentioned earlier it is open source and works well with all systems.

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