A VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VMware vDS) allows a single virtual switch to connect multiple hosts in a cluster or multiple clusters for centralized management of network configurations in a vSphere environment.
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In addition to centralized management, VMware vDS provides features such as health monitoring of uplink connections, Network I/O Control to manage traffic, port mirroring to clone traffic from one port to another, configuration backup of VMware vDS settings and load-based teaming to balance traffic in uplinks.
Using VMware VDS requires Enterprise Plus vSphere licensing; the ESXi host versions must be equal or greater to the VDS version.
VMware debuted VMware VDS with vSphere 4 in 2009.