Switch or Virtual Connect. What is the difference?
• A switch is part of the Ethernet Network or the Storage Network. It is directly connected to a server NIC or HBA, it communicates with the other switches that make up the data center fabrics, and it is managed as part of those fabrics.
• In most enterprises, a switch by definition is owned and managed by the Network group or the Storage group. In whatever way the device works, if it is a switch it must be managed by the LAN or SAN administrator because they must have total control over their network fabrics to make sure they can operate securely and efficiently.
Virtual Connect (VC) is part of the server system.
• It forms a layer 2 bridge between the servers and the Ethernet and Storage Networks.
• Because it is part of the server system, it requires less effort to manage Virtual Connect because it isn‘t as complicated as a switch.
• It is ideal for virtualization environments because it pools and shares the network connections for the servers so that server changes are transparent to the LAN and SAN networks.
So in a Nutshell, HP Virtual Connect is not a Switch. It is a Layer 2 Bridging Device, which sits on the Server layer in the Eco System.
UPDATE: After I had a nice debate with one of my dear friend, I thought I should update this article, clearing my points. HP VC is a technology. HP VC Ethernet Module and HP VC FC Module, both of them are classified into OSI Layer 2 and they are a Layer 2 device. Thanks to my friend Ken Henault (@bladeguy) and Chris Lynch (@ChrisJLynch06) who confirmed me that I am not writing another theory.
I thought my Audience were outstanding, but unfortunately this proves that I cannot control any one’s thought. It is like HP = Hewlett Packard and HP != Hindustan Petroleum. Should I be very careful from next time when I write something ?