You can create abstracted network devices called vSphere standard switches. A standard switch can bridge traffic internally between virtual machines in the same port group and link to external networks.

You can use standard switches to combine the bandwidth of multiple network adapters and balance communications traffic among them. You can also configure a standard switch to handle physical NIC failover.

A vSphere standard switch models a physical Ethernet switch. The default number of logical ports for a standard switch is 120. You can connect one network adapter of a virtual machine to each port. Each uplink adapter associated with a standard switch uses one port. Each logical port on the standard switch is a member of a single port group. Each standard switch can also have one or more port groups assigned to it. For information about maximum allowed ports and port groups, see the Configuration Maximums documentation.

When two or more virtual machines are connected to the same standard switch, network traffic between them is routed locally. If an uplink adapter is attached to the standard switch, each virtual machine can access the external network that the adapter is connected to.