|Initial release||July 29, 2009|
|Operating system||Linux, Hyper-V, FreeBSD and NetBSD|
|Type||Virtual network switch|
|License||Apache License 2.0|
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.
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; As of January 2014 [update] , FreeBSD and NetBSD implementations are also available, with the NetBSD's implementation operating completely in userspace.official Linux packages are available for Debian, Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu.
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.
As of September 2015 [update] , features provided by Open vSwitch include the following:
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