Last week, IBM had a very important announcement (IMO) that did not receive attention at all.
The IBMDVS 5000V enables a large-scale, secure, dynamic integrated virtual and physical environment for efficient VM networking that is aware of server virtualization events such as VMotion and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).
The IBMDVS 5000V Data Path Module (DPM) is a Layer 2 virtual switch embedded in each ESX hypervisor that provides each VM with a dedicated virtual switch port.
The IBMDVS 5000V Controller manages virtual switches across multiple ESX hypervisors, so the IBMDVS 5000V is visible to the physical network as a distributed virtual switch. Configuration is performed through the IBMDVS 5000VController and is automatically propagated so administrators can define configurations for all virtual switches from a single interface to enable simplified management of virtual machine traffic.
Private VLANs enable VM traffic separation, ACLs pro-vide VM traffic control, and local port mirroring (SPAN) and remote port mirroring (ERSPAN) enable advanced VM traffic visibility and troubleshooting. Edge Virtual Bridging (EVB) is an IEEE standard that specifies the interaction between virtual switching environments in a hypervisor and the first layer of the physical switching infra-structure. The EVB 802.1Qbg standard addresses the conventional switch’s lack of network management, monitoring and security. Typically, a conventional vSwitch is invisible to and not configurable by the network administrator. Additionally, any traffic handled internally by the vSwitch cannot be monitored or secured. Support for the EVB 802.1Qbg standard enables VM traffic management in the physical/virtual network through Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregation (VEPA) and Virtual Station Interface (VSI) Discovery and Configuration Protocol (VDP).This enables live Virtual Machine mobility across the network through automatic creation, migration and deletion of VM-specific network port profiles
IMO IBM will be integrating the management of virtual and physical elements by combining physical switches from BNT and Distributed Virtual Switch 5000V. together, it makes a lot of sense. We will see more integration between server and networking vendors. Selling virtual switches alone will likely not become a standalone big business but when coupled with external networking controllers many options will be open. It also shows that IBM is serious about networking and points to further competition between IBM and other networking vendors.