vSphere Distributed Switch andNSX-T Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS) offer several enhancements over standard virtual switches.

Centralized management

  • A distributed switch is created and centrally managed on a vCenter Server system. The switch configuration is consistent across ESXi hosts.

  • An N-VDS is created and centrally managed in NSX-T Manager. The switch configuration is consistent across ESXi and edge transport nodes.

Centralized management saves time, reduces mistakes, and lowers operational costs.

Additional features

Distributed switches offer features that are not available on standard virtual switches. Some of these features can be useful to the applications and services running in the organization’s infrastructure. For example, NetFlow and port mirroring provide monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities to the virtual infrastructure.

Consider the following caveats for distributed switches:

  • vSphere Distributed Switches are manageable only when vCenter Server is available. vCenter Server therefore becomes a Tier-1 application.

  • N-VDS instances are manageable only when the NSX-T Manager is available. NSX-T Manager therefore becomes a Tier-1 application.