IBM Dove (Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet) is an architecture that allows a network engineer to abstract the physical network infrastructure from hypervisor hosts and make network changes in software rather than hardware.

DOVE relies on distributed virtual switches deployed on hypervisor hosts to create tunnels between endpoints across the underlying network infrastructure. DOVE's architecture consists of three components: a controller, a service appliance and switches deployed on the hypervisor hosts. These components are typical in most virtual network overlays.

IBM has a created its own distributed virtual switch, the DVS 5000v, and a homegrown tunneling protocol that uses the VXLAN frame format. The current version of DOVE works only with vSphere, but IBM plans to add support for other hypervisors, including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and Microsoft Hyper-V. Although the IBM DOVE tunneling protocol is homegrown, its use of the VXLAN frame format for encapsulation means that it can take advantage of any underlying network hardware that supports VXLAN.

This was last updated in March 2013

Dig Deeper on SDN research



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:






  • Passive Python Network Mapping

    In this excerpt from chapter two of Passive Python Network Mapping, author Chet Hosmer discusses securing your devices against ...

  • Protecting Patient Information

    In this excerpt from chapter two of Protecting Patient Information, author Paul Cerrato discusses the consequences of data ...

  • Mobile Security and Privacy

    In this excerpt from chapter 11 of Mobile Security and Privacy, authors Raymond Choo and Man Ho Au discuss privacy and anonymity ...