Mar 30 2017

Heads Up! No More Third Party Virtual Switches API For ESXi

Update 2017-04-01

No it is official, see VMware KB 2149722 for more information.


Since I know quite a few of my customers are using third party switches in their vSphere environment instead of the VMware native Virtual Standard Switch (VSS) or vNetwork Distributed Switch (VDS) i wanted to provide you with some information I have seen in some communities over the past few days.

The information I have see says that VMware will soon deprecate the API used by third party switches and remove it after vSphere 6.5 U1. Some customer seems to have received the information in a letter (see this picture which is not on my web site) but I haven’t been able to find it on the VMware public website. The only public available information I have seen is the following:

  • VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix – Where it says End Of General Support 20180919 for Cisco Nexus 1000V (resell)
  • VMware Network Virtualisation Blog – Which include the following statement:
    • “VMware will have a single virtual switch strategy that focuses on two sets of native virtual switch offerings – VMware vSphere® Standard Switch and vSphere Distributed Switch™ for VMware vSphere, and the Open virtual switch (OVS)”

This change will mean that the following third party switches must be migrated to VSS, VDS or OVS:

  • Cisco
    • AVS
    • Nexus 1000v
    • VM-FEX
  • HPE 5900v
  • IBM 5000v

When I get this confirmed I’ll update the blog post but for now you at least know what to expect in the future.


  1. James Box

    This has to be the most anti-customer move by a vendor in recent memory. While Vmware does offer good technology, there is absolutely no joy as a customer to have it shoved down my throat and all other options taken away. I’m afraid all this does for me is to accelerate plans to start moving away from Vmware as my only hypervisor. Smooth move Vmware, kicking your own customers in the teeth!

  2. Common Sense

    James, if you look at the numbers – only 1% of customers use a 3rd party switch. If you were a company, do you think it makes sense to spend the cost of supporting the 1% use case forever?

  3. Real Common Sense

    1% of all installations.. but only Enterprise Plus supports DVS. How many % of Enterprise Plus hosts used a 3rd party switch? And how many in bigger DC installations, not random 2 host environments?

    Thats the numbers i want to see, not a number taken from ESX installations that dont even support DVS to make VMware look better… Thats common sense, but seems VMware forgot.

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