Definition

DOVE (IBM DOVE)

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

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