How The Hyper-V Extensible Switch Can Transform Your Network

Grappling with a virtualised network architecture that’s difficult to manage? The Hyper-V Extensible Switch running on Windows Server 2012 can simplify your management workload, letting you add capabilities to your virtualised network to meet your exact needs.

Hyper-V’s Virtual Switch provides a software switch for building virtualised network environments. Under Windows Server 2012, the soft switch functionality available in Hyper-V can be customised using extensions. This could enable you to, for example, add additional management capabilities to your Virtual Switch by tying it into existing networking management platforms, or track more detailed statistics on its performance for monitoring or chargeback purposes.

“The ability to manage Hyper-V Virtual Switches using the powerful PowerShell scripting language is one of the most significant enhancements in Windows Server 2012.”

Because the extensions exist within the Hyper-V environment, they can automatically take advantage of features such as Live Migration, and can be managed using Hyper-V Manager, WMI or PowerShell. The ability to manage Hyper-V Virtual Switches using the popular and powerful PowerShell scripting language is one of the most significant enhancements in Windows Server 2012. The Unified Tracing framework also operates across extensions, enabling straightforward diagnostics.

Developers can easily build new extensions using NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) and WFP (Windows Filtering Platform) . Major networking technology providers have already built extensions to work with Hyper-V’s Extensible Switch technology, including Cisco, Broadcom, NEC, Inmon and 5Nine.

As well as adding the extensions feature, numerous other improvements have been incorporated into the Hyper-V Switch technology in Windows Server 2012, including enhanced traffic prioritisation and isolation features; the ability to run multiple virtual NICs and to pair the physical NIC bound to the Hyper-V Switch with the parent operating system; usage metering; and improved VM protection features including port access controls lists (ACLs).

Learn more about the Hyper-V Extensible Switch in this comprehensive TechNet overview.

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