Open vSwitch as Virtual Switch for VM Environments

Sep 09, 2009

The Open vSwitch open source project has announced development of a sofware switch for virtual environments.

The goal of the Open vSwitch project is development of a production-ready nework switch for virtual environments that is extensible and supports standard management interfaces such as NetFlow, RSPAN, ERSPAN and Cisco IOS-like CLIs. A further requirement is for the software to be distributable across different physical servers, similar to proprietary products such as VMWare's vswitch and Cisco's Nexus 1000v.

A first Open vSwitch version is already available as source code under Apache 2 licensing. Developers report that "the bulk of the code is written in platform-independent C and is easily ported to other environments." Already supported are the virtualization technologies Xen/XenServer, KVM and VirtualBox.

The project website lists a series of currently supported features. Among them, VLAN tagging per 802.1q, VM policing, NIC bonding, kernel-based forwarding and support of the OpenFlow standard. The project page also lists the features under development.

The Virtualization.info portal puts Citrix as the motivating force behind the project. The source code meanwhile has references to the Palo Alto CA network company Nicira.

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