Difference Between "Standard Switch" and "Dstributed switch".

Hello VMware,

I know this question must have asked number of time, but I would like to know the answer in terms of networking.

I have ESXi server with two nic cards which are directly connected to two ports of a router, please refer below diagram for more details.

I would like to understand how VLANs on ESXi interacts with the physical network outside the ESXi.

Let's say if I create three "Standard VLAN" on NIC0 name 10,11,12 and create the respective subinterface on router port Eth1/1, then I believe they can directly talk to each other with VLAN tags. Correct me if I am wrong.

Someone told me I can create only one "Virtual Distributed Switch" per physical port, so I created VDS 13 on NIC1 of ESXi which will directly talk to the router on Eth1/2.

I am curious to know, is it the waste of port to have only one VDS per NIC?

What is the difference between Vswitch and VLANs?

I am looking for the answer in standard networking terminology, thanks in advance.


1 Reply

First off here's a good link to a KB describing the differences between a vSwitch and a dvSwitch.


A distributed switch can have many physical adapters same as a standard virtual switch. Whomever told you that you can only create one dvSwitch per physical NIC (aka dvUplink in the dvSwitch lingo) is not accurate at all. I would recommend not getting anymore advice from them.

Regardless of which type of switch you are using  --standard virtual switch or a distributed switch (dvSwitch) they both support multiple VLAN tagging on them. When you create a port group on the switch you can assign a VLAN ID to it allowing all your traffic to be tagged for that VLAN. You can have multiple port groups on the switches each with their own VLAN ID's allowing you to segment network traffic for all the VLANs you want. Traffic will flow out of your virtual switches to your physical NIC's which pass the data to your upstream switches. You must ensure your upstream switches are properly configured to support the VLANs being passed to it from VMware as VMware is merely tagging the data packets with the VLAN ID you told it to for a given port group.