vSphere Standard switch

vSphere Standard Switch is used to provide network connectivity for hosts, virtual machines and to handle VMKernel Traffic. Standard switch works with only with one ESXi host. vSphere standard switch bridge traffic internally between virtual machines in VLAN. Standard switch does not require Enterprise plus licensing for usage. This is one of the real advantages for standard switch users. Standard switch is created in host level i.e. we can create and manage vSphere standard switch independently on ESXi host. Inbound traffic shaping is not available as a part in standard switch. Networking vMotion is not available in standard switch.

vSphere Distributed switch

vSphere Distributed switch allows a single virtual switch to connect multiple Esxi hosts. vSphere Distributed switch on a datacenter to handle the networking configuration of multiple hosts at a time from a central place. Distributed switches allow different hosts to use the switch as they exist in same host. It Provides centralized management and monitoring of the network onfiguration of all the ESXi hosts that are associated with the dvswitch. vSphere Distributed switch given priority to traffic and allows other network streams to utilize available bandwidth. vSphere Distributed switch include rollback and recovery for patching and updating network configuration, templates to enable backup and restore for virtual networking configuration. Inbound traffic shaping is possible to apply in distributed switch only. Networking vMotion is used in Distributed switch only.

Networking vMotion – Networking vMotion tracking virtual machine networking state. As a VM moves from host to host on a vNetwork Distributed Switch. It is possible to apply only in Distributed switch only.

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Features similar in both standard switch and distributed switch

Some of the features are similar to apply both standard and distributed switch. They are listed below.

  • Forward L2 Frames
  • Segment traffic into LANs
  • Use and understand 802.1q VLAN encapsulation
  • Having more than one Uplink (NIC Teaming)
  • Traffic Shaping for Outbound traffic

Configuration for Standard switch and Distributed switch in vSphere Client 6.5

Let us see the configuration for the Standard switch and Distributed switch in vSphere client 6.5.

  • Navigate ESXi host in web client
  • Choose a connection type for which you want to use new standard switch
  • Option Description
    VMKernel Network Adapter Create a new VMkernel adapter to handle host management traffic, vMotion, network storage, fault tolerance, or Virtual SAN traffic.
    Physical Network Adapter Add physical network adapters to an existing or a new standard switch
    Virtual Machine Port Group for a Standard Switch Create a new port group for virtual machine networking

  • Create new standard switch using Physical Network Adapter
    1. Right-click Networking, choose the option Add Standard vSwitch to create standard switch
    2. Assign a name to standard vSwitch and click Add
    3. Add-Standard-virtual-switch

    4. New Switch is created under Virtual Switches


Configuration for Distributed switch

In vCenter web client, navigate to a Datacenter


  • Right-click datacenter->Select Distributed Switch
  • VM Datacenter

  • Specify a name and location to create a Distributed switch and click next
  • Name-and-location

  • Specify a distributed switch version which is compatible with ESXi version 6.5 and click next
  • Select-version

  • Assign Uplink port number, resource allocation and default port group and click next
  • Edit-setting

  • Review created distributed switch settings and click Finish
  • Distributed Switch is created in Datacenter
  • vSphere client 6.5


    Standard switch and Distributed switch enable advanced virtual network topology between VMs and Host.

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