vSphere 6.7 ICM – Topic 5.1 – Describe, Create, and Manage Standard Switches

Understand Virtual Networking

VMware vSphere uses Virtual Networking to establish connection between Hypervisor and Virtual Machines. Hypervisor is connected to Physical Network through physical NICs and switches, whereas Virtual machine is connected through ESXi using Virtual Networking.

There is a thin layer of Virtual Networking over the VMkernel which provides entire communication for Virtual Machines with Physical Network.

We create Virtual Networking for Virtual Machine using logical layer which is known as Virtual Switch.

Points to Cover:

  1. Understand Virtual Networking
  2. Understand vSphere Standard Switch
  3. Standard Switch Architecture
  4. Components of vSphere Standard Switch
  5. How To – Create vSphere Standard Switch (VSS)

There are two types of Virtual Switch:

  1. vSphere Standard Switch
  2. vSphere Distributed Switch


In module of vSphere 6.7, Install, Configure, and Manage, we will more focus on Standard Switch. Let’s explore the vSphere Standard Switch.

Standard switch does the same work in software defined datacenter as physical switch does in physical datacenter.

Understand vSphere Standard Switch

You have one ESXi host which is connected to Physical switch using NICs and cable. On top of ESXi, you have Virtual machines over the kernel. Now you need to connect these Virtual Machines with Physical Network.

Now here you need a switch which can communicate to physical network via hypervisor(ESXi). This switch will be a vSphere Standard Switch which connects physical switch using physical adaptor on ESXi.

standard switch architecture

It provides different VLANs to work for Virtual Machines using Port Group. It also provides management, vMotion, and other functionality for your vSphere environment.

You always create a vSphere Standard switch on each ESXi Host.

Virtual Switch provides inter connection for VMs to communicate with each other using the same protocols that  would be used over physical networking.

Components of vSphere Standard Switch

  • Port Groups
    • VM Port Group
    • VMKernel Port Group
  • VLAN
  • NIC Teaming
  • Physical Adaptor
  • MTU

How To – Create vSphere Standard Switch (VSS)

  • Login to vCenter Server.
  • Click on ESXi Host on which you want to create Standard Switch.

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  • Go to Action button and Click on Add Networking.

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  • Click on Virtual Machine Port Group for a Standard Switch. You can also choose first option which is VMkernel Network Adapter.
    • VM Port Group – VM Port Group are used to connect Virtual Machine Networking.
    • VMkernel Port Group – VMkernel ports are used to connect the VMkernel to services such as vMotion, Management, iSCSI, NFS, FT, VSAN. VM kernel port required an IP Address.
  • Click on Next.

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  • Click on New Standard Switch.

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  • Review the information and Click on OK.

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Add physical network adapters to the new standard switch. You must have to assign atleast one Physical NIC for a vSwitch.

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Give name of Port group which will be created inside Standard Switch. Here in our lab, we created a Port Group called Prod_VM which will be for Production VMs.

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  • Review the information and Click on Finish.

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  • Go to Host and Click on Networking under Configure tab.
  • Standard Switch with name of vSwitch1 has been created successfully.

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You can also review Port Group(Prod_VM) which was created under vSwitch1. To Check this, go to Networking and Click on Datacenter. It will show all port groups.

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