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vde Documentation

1.5.9-3

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).
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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.
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Examples of VDE uses:
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- 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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