Several months ago I co-wrote a piece titled Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) Tag Team. The article talks about CDP, walks through some working examples, and provides a view of what information the protocol advertises. CDP is a great tool but it’s proprietary to Cisco network gear. In the past, if you were using non-Cisco switches, you couldn’t leverage CDP in either direction (listen or advertise).
Today is the first look at a new vSphere 5 networking feature which is Link Layer Discovery Protocol – essentially CDP for every other switch vendor which supports this IEEE 802.1AB open standard.
Take a look at the images below which show a side by side comparison of LLDP and CDP from the vSphere Client perspective:
As you can see, there’s a lot of parity between the two protocols. Each provides some very helpful information from the upstream physical network perspective. Namely the identification of the switch and the port number. From what I’ve seen so far, LLDP is a completely viable alternative to CDP.
In case you’re wondering where to configure LLDP or CDP on a vNetwork Distributed Switch, it’s an advanced setting of the vDS itself: