VMware to end support for third-party virtual switches

Virtzilla says hardly anyone isn't using its own vSwitches already


UPDATE VMware's let vSphere users know that it will end support for third-party virtual switches.

Virtual switches let you handle traffic generated by virtual machines. They've been a part of vSphere for years, because it just makes sense to have a virtual switch connect VMs rather than send traffic out of a host, into a physical switch, then back again.

VMware's early efforts in this field were modest. Cisco's Nexus 1000V, however, was better-regarded and reasonably widely adopted. IBM and HPE also have virtual switches.

Over the years, VMware's done better with its own efforts: the vSphere Distributed Switch is now considered to be a match for the Nexus 1000v. VMware also offers the VMware vSphere Standard Switch. There's also the Linux Foundation's Open vSwitch to play with.

A VMware spokesperson told us that the reason for the change is that few users bother with third-party virtual switches any more. “VMware’s native virtual switch implementation has become the de facto standard for greater than 99% of vSphere customers today,” the spokesperson said.

“This strategy is about investing in the priorities of our customers and simplifying the platform to create the best, most secure experience possible.”

VMware's virtual switch API suspension notice

VMware's communiqué to third-party vSwitch users

This decision does also mean some pain for those running third-party virtual switches, as they'll have to migrate away from them whenever VMware does its next vSphere update. If current form holds, that will be some time next year.

Perhaps more significantly, this week has seen rumours emerge to the effect that Cisco is working on a release of iOS decoupled from hardware. If that rumour is true, it would set the cat among the pigeons if vSphere didn't play nice with future virtual versions of Cisco's various switches.

And then there's the issue of lock-in. A staffer from a hyperconverged systems vendor that supports multiple hypervisors, and who requested anonymity, believes some users may feel it is worth considering a multi-hypervisor strategy to ensure they're not tied to VMware's virtual switches. ®

UPDATE, MONDAY APRIL 3rd: Over the weekend, readers pointed us towards this knowledge base page offering more information on the decision to drop support for third-party vSwitches. Commenters also pointed out that some VCE products include the Nexus 1000v, meaning that one arm of Dell is asking its own customers to stop using software it once recommended! Cisco/NetApp Flexpods also included Cisco's vSwitch. Both VCE and FlexPods assume users follow a locked-down configuration of hardware and software. VMware's asking both to break those configurations.

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022