VMWare gives you support to use third party Virtual Distributed switches along with their own Virtual Distributed switch. Presently there are two third party vender exists on the market for vDS Solution, who supports VMware and they are Cisco and IBM .They offers Cisco Nexus 1000V and IBM 5000v virtual switches solution. But Cisco is the most common one. So for sake for comparison and features difference with default VMware vDS, I will Choose Cisco Nexus 1K from third party.
Comparison between vDS and Cisco Nexus 1K
- Virtual Distributed Switches both VMware and third party support comes with Enterprise plus License
- vDS resides on the vCenter Level and installed automatically when the vCenter installed. While the Nexus 1K installed in the form of VM in datacenter level.
- vDS required no additional cost except the enterprise plus license. But Cisco Nexus 1K required addition License on per CPU basis.
- vDS is simpler to manage and configure but Nexus is more complex to manage and Configure.
- To manage vDS you will require a very little experience or understanding of network but for third party Virtual Distributed Switches you required additional experience to configure their technology.
- vDS is managed by the vSphere Client and Cisco Nexus 1K is managed via Cisco IOS.
- The Nexus 1K uses a virtual supervisor module (VSM) and a virtual Ethernet module (VEM). The supervisor modules are installed as virtual appliances while the VEM is act as physical LAN card in the switch and installed on ESXi host as an agent.
- Cisco Nexus 1K support more advance features such as IGMPv3 snooping, Unknown Unicast Flooding Control, Private VLAN with Promiscuous Trunks, IP Source Guard for virtual desktops etc.
Both switches has their own advantage and disadvantage. If you want the simplicity with no additional cost then you may go for VMware vDS. But if you want to use advance features as I have mentioned in the comparison above or your organization wants to gives ownership of networking part to your Networking team than you might consider third party vDS solution.