vSphere Distributed Switch and NSX-T Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS) provide several advantages over vSphere Standard Switch.

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 and reduces mistakes and operational costs.

Additional features

Some of the features of distributed switches 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:

  • Distributed switches are manageable only when the vCenter Server instance is available. As a result, vCenter Server becomes a Tier-1 application.

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