Definition

OVSDB (Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol)

The Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol (OVSDB) is an OpenFlow configuration protocol that is designed to manage Open vSwitch implementations. 

Open vSwitch is a virtual switch that enables network automation, while supporting standard management interfaces and protocols, like NetFlow. Open vSwitch also supports distribution across multiple physical servers, in a way that’s similar to Cisco’s Nexus 1000v.

In an Open vSwitch implementation, a database server and a switch daemon are used. The OVSDB protocol is used in a control cluster, along with other managers and controllers, to supply configuration information to the switch database server. Controllers use OpenFlow to identify details of the packet flows through the switch. Each switch may receive directions from multiple managers and controllers, and each manager and controller can direct multiple switches.

Using the OVSDB protocol, IT professionals can determine the number of individual virtual bridges within an Open vSwitch implementation, allowing a network engineer to create, configure and delete ports and tunnels from a bridge. Engineers can also create, configure and delete queues.

See also: distributed virtual switch

Contributor(s): Michelle McNickle
This was last updated in September 2013
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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