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vde Documentation


virtual distributed ethernet
VDE is a virtual switch that can connect multiple virtual machines together,
both local and remote.
Components of the VDE architecture are VDE switches (virtual counterpart of
ethernet switches) and VDE cables (virtual counterpart of a crossed-cable used
to connect two switches).
All units connected to the VDE see each other as they were on a real ethernet.
A real Linux box can be connected to the VDE using a tap interface (TUNTAP)
(packets can be further routed using standard linux methods). It is possible
to join two VDE switches -- also running on different real computers -- using
virtual VDE cables. UML (user-mode-linux) and QEMU virtual machines can be
connected to the VDE.
Examples of VDE uses:
- With VDE it is possible to create a virtual network of UML machines running
on several real computer
- VDE can be used to create tunnels (even crossing masqueraded networks)
- VDE can provide mobility support. Changing a VDE cable with another does not
affect the communications in place. The new VDE cable can use a completely
different path on the real net. VDE supports also multiple concurrent VDE
cables between a pair of VDE-switches during the hand-off. This eliminates
some possible hiccups of communications due to hand-offs.
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