Installing the Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch is not that difficult, once you have learned some new concepts. Before I jump straight into installing the Nexus 1000V, lets run through the vSphere networking options and some of the reasons you’d want to implement the Nexus 1000V.
vSS (vSphere Standard Switch)
Often referred to as vSwitch0, the standard vSwitch is the default virtual switch vSphere offers you, and provides essential networking features for the virtualisation of your environment. Some of these features include 802.1Q VLAN tagging, egress traffic shaping, basic security, and NIC teaming. However, the vSS or standard vSwitch, is an individual virtual switch for each ESX/ESXi host and needs to be configured as individual switches. Most large environments rule this out as they need to maintain a consistent configuration across all of their ESX/ESXi hosts. Of course, VMware Host Profiles go some way to achieving this but it’s still lacking in what features in distributed switches.
vDS (vSphere Distributed Switch)
So the vDS, also known as DVS (Distributed Virtual Switch) provides a single virtual switch that spans all of your hosts in the cluster, which makes configuration of multiple hosts in the virtual datacenter far easier to manage. Some of the features available with the vDS includes 802.1q VLAN tagging as before, but also ingress/egress traffic shaping, PVLANs (Private VLANs), and network vMotion. The key with using a distributed virtual switch is that you only have to manage a single switch.
Cisco Nexus 1000V
In terms of features and manageability, the Nexus 1000V is over and above the vDS as it’s going to be so familiar to those with existing Cisco skills, in addition to a heap of features that the vDS can’t offer. For example, QoS tagging, LACP, and ACLs (Access Control Lists). Recently I have come across two Cisco UCS implementations which require the Nexus 1000V to support PVLANs in their particular configuration (due to the Fabric Interconnects using End-Host Mode). There are many reasons one would choose to implement the Cisco Nexus 1000V, lets call it N1KV for short :)
Without further delay, grab a coffee and we’ll get the N1KV installed! [Read more…] about How To Install The Cisco Nexus 1000V on vSphere 5