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Managing the Virtual Switch Inventory

 

Virtual switches enable virtual machines (VMs) on different hosts to communicate with each other by using the same protocols that are used over physical switches, without the need for any additional networking hardware. Once you have discovered a VMware vCenter in Network Director, the hosts, VMs, and virtual switches also come under Network Director management. You can use the View Virtual Switch Inventory task to manage and view the virtual switches in your virtual network infrastructure.

You can use the View Virtual Switches page to:

View the Virtual Switch Inventory

To view the virtual switch Inventory:

  1. While in Build mode with Datacenter View selected, click the Virtual Center for which you want to view the virtual switch inventory details. From the Tasks pane, click View Virtual Switches from the Inventory menu to open the View Virtual Switches page.
  2. The View Virtual Switches page displays the details for all the virtual switches in the Network. Table 1 describes the fields in this table.

    Table 1: View Virtual Switches page Field Descriptions

    Field

    Description

    Name

    Name assigned to the virtual switch.

    If it is a standalone virtual switch, the hostname on which the virtual switch resides is also displayed.

    Version

    Indicates the vSphere version.

    Type

    The type of virtual switch. The switch type can be:

    • Standalone vSwitch—The traditional virtual switch where the administrator configures and maintains a virtual switch for each host.

    • Distributed vSwitch— A distributed switch spans multiple hosts at the virtual network level. It is created by abstracting individual host-level virtual switches into a single, large, distributed switch. This considerably simplifies the VM networking by enabling you to set up VM access switching for your entire data center from a centralized interface.

    MTU

    Maximum Transmission Unit—The maximum size of a protocol data unit that can be transmitted.

    Number of Ports

    Total number of ports held in the port groups configured for this switch.

    LLDP Status

    Indicates whether Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is enabled on the specific virtual switch.

    LLDP Operation

    If LLDP is enabled, this field indicates the LLDP operation mode. The operation mode can be one of the following:

    • Listen—Detects and displays information about the associated physical switch port, but information about the distributed vSwitch is not available to the physical switch.

    • Advertise—Makes information about the distributed vSwitch available to the physical switch, but does not detect or display information about the physical switch.

    • Both—Detects and displays information about the associated physical switch and makes information about the distributed vSwitch available to the physical switch.

    • Not applicable–Indicates that LLDP is not enabled.

    Note: If you plan to use the Orchestration and Topology features extensively, then we recommend that you set the LLDP operation mode to Both.

Enable LLDP on Virtual Switches

The Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a link layer protocol that is used by network devices to advertise their identity, capabilities, and neighbors. You can enable LLDP for a virtual switch in your virtual network infrastructure. Once you enable LLDP, you can view properties of the physical switch such as chassis ID, system name and description, and device capabilities from Network Director. LLDP is available only for vSphere virtual switch versions 5.0 and later.

To enable LLDP on a virtual switch:

  1. While in Build mode with Datacenter View selected, click the Virtual Center for which you want to view the virtual switch inventory details. From the Tasks pane, click View Virtual Switches from the Inventory menu to open the View Virtual Switches page.
  2. Select the virtual switch for which you want to enable LLDP and click Enable LLDP.

    Network Director enables LLDP on the selected switch and changes the status field to Enabled.