vSphere 4.0 vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS) – Video Demonstration + Architecture Diagram

A Boring Introduction:

It’s been a crazy week! A lot of stuff is happening right now at my work, personal life, and my career. For example, I’m building our much-awaited “Private Cloud” at work, using both the ultimate vSphere Cloud OS and the rock-solid IBM hardware that was finally delivered this week. But wait, this is not ‘the’ exciting thing that was happing this week for me, it’s most definitely the news that I’ve received last Thursday about winning the first round of the vSphere blogging contest. I will not thank John Troyer & Mike Adams for their great idea and their incredible efforts for organizing this contest, and I will not thank Deepak Narain, the man behind this blog existence who kept pushing me to lunch it a year back (more on this soon), I will, instead, thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement (including the names I’ve just mentioned), I was literally thrilled by the emails, blog posts and “tweets” that were thrown at me since the news was out. THANK YOU!

Now, enough of this boring talk about me, myself and I, and let’s get started with this new round of the blogging contest. A heads up first: I was not supposed to participate this week since I’ve been so busy as you see, but I had a 24 hours after canceling some plans that I had at the last minute. That said, what you see here is not quite final, I believe I need to work more on the diagram especially the IO plane layout in the hidden vSS, and probably add a couple of more configurations to the video to show some cool stuff like the consistent network stats of a mobile VM jumping from an ESX to another. I’ll be updating all these stuff hopefully during next week.

The Configuration Video:


The Architecture Diagram:

Another vSphere diagram! I told you, you are going to see these blueprints more than any time before. Quick notes:

  • This is an A3 scale diagram in case you want to print it.
  • The diagram reflects the exact configuration on the video. I’ve done this intentionally to make it easier and faster for any one new to the vDS to understand the concept and the various configuration aspects.
  • As I mentioned above, due to the very short period of time that I had, I will most probably modify small parts in the diagram to achieve better results. You can come back and check the version number of the diagram to download the latest updates.


I love this part at the end of any book/chapter published by SYBEX. It gets down and dirty with all the theoretic parts covered, and guide you through a practical path to try what you’ve learned. This is what I want to do here as well. The vDS is quite confusing as a concept and configuration for the first time, and I personally didn’t get it except when I started getting my hands on it and playing around with the configurations. The challenge here is that you probably won’t have the required lab to do this, especially that you need large number of NICs to test all the configurations. If you are one of my regular blog readers, you’ve probably guessed what I’m getting to. It’s the “vSphere in a box”!

Around three month back, I published a series of posts talking about building a vSphere configurations using ESX inside itself. Instead of rewriting the whole story again, here is the links for your consideration. One last thing to note here: the entire lab you’ve seen in the video was built using Lab Manager 4.0 as you will read in the following posts.

Special Thanks:

I’d like to thank Duncan Epping for reviewing part of the contents here. I was having some doubts about few points and due to the time constrain, I didn’t have the time to research more on them. I asked for Duncan’s help and he was very kind to do so.

Additional Recourses:

These are the best resources that I’ve found so far for the vDS:

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