What is Open vSwitch?
Open vSwitch is a production quality, multilayer virtual switch licensed under the open sourceApache 2.0 license. It is designed to enable massive network automation through programmatic extension, while still supporting standard management interfaces and protocols (e.g. NetFlow, sFlow, RSPAN, ERSPAN, CLI, LACP, 802.1ag). In addition, it is designed to support distribution across multiple physical servers similar to VMware’s vNetwork distributed vswitch or Cisco’s Nexus 1000V.
Open vSwitch can operate both as a soft switch running within the hypervisor, and as the control stack for switching silicon. It has been ported to multiple virtualization platforms and switching chipsets. It is the default switch in XenServer “Project Boston”, the Xen Cloud Platform and also supports Xen, KVM, Proxmox VE and VirtualBox. It has also been integrated into many virtual management systems including openQRM, and OpenNebula.
The bulk of the code is written in platform-independent C and is easily ported to other environments.
To understand why virtualized environments require a new approach to switching, read theWHY-OVS document that is distributed with the source code.
Open vSwitch is used in multiple products and runs in many large production environments (some very, very large). Each stable release is run through a regression suite of hundreds of system-level tests and nearly a thousand unit tests.