Open Virtual Switch (or Open vSwitch) is the open source answer (supported and sponsored by Citrix) to the Cisco Nexus 1000V and the VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch architecture.
Citrix announced the project in June 2009, but the early, public lines of code didn’t appear before August.
It took almost one year to move from version 0.90.4 to version 1.0, which introduces a number of features:
- Configuration database with remote management
- Per VM policing
- NIC bonding with source-MAC load balancing
- Support for NetFlow, sFlow(R), SPAN, and RSPAN
- Support for Standard 802.1Q VLAN model with trunking
- Support for OpenFlow 1.0
- Support for Ethernet over GRE tunneling
- Support for XenServer 5.5 and 5.6
During all this time the product has been largely under the radars. Citrix didn’t even commit for a commercial implementation, even if Open vSwitch is the default networking interconnection in the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP).
But after this point Citrix is expected to leverage the product future versions of XenServer 5.x or in version 6.0.
Still in the roadmap:
- Full L3 support (with NAT)
- More management interfaces (IOS-like CLI, SNMP, NETCONF)
- Support for hardware acceleration (VMDQ, switching chips on SR-IOV NICs)
Open vSwitch can be installed on any Linux operating system as a replacement for the default network bridge tools.