Open vSwitch, sometimes abbreviated as OVS, is an open-source implementation of a distributed virtual multilayer switch. The main purpose of Open vSwitch is to provide a switching stack for hardware virtualization environments, while supporting multiple protocols and standards used in computer networks.
|Initial release||July 29, 2009|
|Operating system||Linux, Hyper-V, FreeBSD and NetBSD|
|Type||Virtual network switch|
|License||Apache License 2.0|
The project's source code is distributed under the terms of Apache License 2.0.
Open vSwitch is a software implementation of a virtual multilayer network switch, designed to enable effective network automation through programmatic extensions, while supporting standard management interfaces and protocols such as NetFlow, sFlow, SPAN, RSPAN, CLI, LACP and 802.1ag. In addition, Open vSwitch is designed to support transparent distribution across multiple physical servers by enabling creation of cross-server switches in a way that abstracts out the underlying server architecture, similar to the VMware vNetwork distributed vswitch or Cisco Nexus 1000V.
Open vSwitch can operate both as a software-based network switch running within a virtual machine (VM) hypervisor, and as the control stack for dedicated switching hardware; as a result, it has been ported to multiple virtualization platforms, switching chipsets, and networking hardware accelerators. Open vSwitch is the default network switch in the XenServer virtualization platform since its version 6.0, and in the Xen Cloud Platform via its XAPI management toolstack. It also supports Xen, Linux KVM, Proxmox VE and VirtualBox hypervisors, while a port to Hyper-V is also available. Open vSwitch has also been integrated into various cloud computing software platforms and virtualization management systems, including OpenStack, openQRM, OpenNebula and oVirt.
The Linux kernel implementation of Open vSwitch was merged into the kernel mainline in kernel version 3.3, which was released on March 18, 2012; official Linux packages are available for Debian, Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu. As of January 2014, FreeBSD and NetBSD implementations are also available, with the NetBSD's implementation operating completely in userspace.
The majority of the Open vSwitch source code is written in platform-independent C language, which provides easy portability to various environments. The source code is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.
- Exposed communication between virtual machines, via NetFlow, sFlow, IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX), Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN), Remote Switched Port Analyzer (RSPAN), and port mirrors tunneled using Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)
- Link aggregation through the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP, IEEE 802.1AX-2008)
- Standard 802.1Q virtual LAN (VLAN) model for network partitioning, with support for trunking
- Support for multicast snooping using versions 1, 2 and 3 of the Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)
- Support for the Shortest Path Bridging Media Access Control (SPBM) and associated basic support for the Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)
- Support for the Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) and 802.1ag link monitoring
- Support for the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP, IEEE 802.1D-1998) and Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP, IEEE 802.1D-2004)
- Fine-grained quality of service (QoS) control for different applications, users, or data flows
- Support for the hierarchical fair-service curve (HFSC) queuing discipline (qdisc)
- Traffic policing at the level of virtual machine interface
- Network interface controller (NIC) bonding, with load balancing by source MAC addresses, active backups, and layer 4 hashing
- Support for the OpenFlow protocol, including various virtualization-related extensions
- Complete IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) support
- Support for multiple tunneling protocols, including GRE, Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN), Stateless Transport Tunneling (STT) and Geneve, with additional support for layering over Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)
- Remote configuration protocol, with existing bindings for the C and Python programming languages
- Implementation of the packet forwarding engine in kernel space or userspace, allowing additional flexibility as well as providing performance improvements by processing the majority of forwarded packets without leaving the kernel space and by using multithreaded kernel space and userspace components
- Multi-table forwarding pipeline with a flow-caching engine
- Forwarding layer abstraction, making it easier to port Open vSwitch to new software and hardware platforms
- "A complete list of Open vSwitch releases". openvswitch.org. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- Justin Pettit (September 10, 2019). "[ovs-announce] Open vSwitch 2.12.0 Available". openvswitch.org. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- M. Tim Jones (October 27, 2010). "Virtual networking in Linux". IBM. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- "Open vSwitch: An Open Virtual Switch". openvswitch.org. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Thomas Graf (April 24, 2013). "Underneath OpenStack Quantum: Software Defined Networking with Open vSwitch" (PDF). Red Hat. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Ralf Spenneberg. "Virtual switching with Open vSwitch". admin-magazine.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- "Tilera Launches Open Virtual Switch Solution (OVS) to Accelerate NFV and SDN". Marketwired. February 24, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- "XenServer 6.0 Release Notes". Citrix Systems. March 8, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- "XAPI: Open source software to build private and public clouds". xenproject.org. 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- Alessandro Pilotti (May 22, 2014). "Open vSwitch on Hyper-V". cloudbase.it. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- "Linux kernel 3.3, Section 1.3. Open vSwitch". kernelnewbies.org. March 18, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- Jonathan Corbet (November 30, 2011). "Routing Open vSwitch into the mainline". LWN.net. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- "FreshPorts – net/openvswitch". freshports.org. December 30, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- Gaetano Catalli (November 7, 2011). "Open vSwitch: performance improvement and porting to FreeBSD" (PDF). ucl.ac.be. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- "openvswitch/ovs: ovs/INSTALL.NetBSD at master". github.com. January 11, 2014. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- "Open vSwitch: Features". openvswitch.org. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- Jesse Gross (September 2013). "Programmable Networking with Open vSwitch" (PDF). linuxfoundation.org. LinuxCon. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Justin Pettit; Ben Pfaff; Ethan Jackson (November 13, 2014). "Accelerating Open vSwitch to 'Ludicrous Speed'". networkheresy.com. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- Jesse Gross (August 21, 2014). "The Evolution of Open vSwitch" (PDF). events.linuxfoundation.org. LinuxCon. pp. 6, 13–17. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Open vSwitch.|
- Official website and source code on GitHub
- Introduction to Open vSwitch on YouTube, December 15, 2013
- Open vSwitch: Deep Dive The Virtual Switch for OpenStack on YouTube, November 8, 2013
- OVN, Bringing Native Virtual Networking to OVS, January 13, 2015, by Justin Pettit, Ben Pfaff, Chris Wright and Madhu Venugopal
- Open Virtual Network (OVN) Proposed Architecture, January 13, 2015, by Ben Pfaff
- 6WIND Announces Open vSwitch Acceleration for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, PRWeb, April 16, 2014
- Going With the Flow: Google's Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking, Wired, April 17, 2012, by Steven Levy
- Performance Characteristics of Virtual Switching, IEEE, 2014, by Paul Emmerich, Daniel Raumer, Florian Wohlfart and Georg Carle