Virtualization is a technology that has become increasingly popular with those wishing to reduce the energy consumption of their datacenters. This is especially true since virtualization technology allows multiple physical servers to be consolidated onto a single physical server in the form of virtual machines. Virtual networking devices have been created to allow these virtual machines to communicate amongst each other and with outside networks. Initially these virtual networking devices were crude; however, partnerships such as the one between Cisco and VMware have led to products such as the Nexus 1000V that have improved this network functionality. Despite the creation of the Nexus 1000V, the security implications of using the virtual switch have remained unclear. This research aimed to solve this. The outcomes of this research included tests of vulnerabilities previously or currently found on physical switches, an analysis of the communications used by the Nexus 1000V to support distributed switching, and an analysis of the effects of the switch existing as a virtual machine.


Cisco Nexus 1000V, Network Security, Networking, Virtualization

Date of this Version



Computer and Information Technology

Department Head

Jeffrey L. Brewer


Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Jeffrey L Whitten

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Phillip T. Rawles

Committee Member 1

Michael J. Dyrenfurth

Committee Member 2

Raymond A. Hansen