There are not huge differences between a vNetwork Standard Switch (vSwitch, vSS) and a vNetwork Distributed Switch (dvSwitch, vDS). The big thing is the concept of dvSwitches being centralized in vCenter and using the concept of compliance to assign a dvSwitch to a host.
Both types of switches provide the following:
- can forward L2 frames
- can segment traffic into VLANs
- can use and understand 802.1q VLAN encapsulation
- can have more than one uplink (NIC Teaming)
- can have traffic shaping for the outbound (TX) traffic
Other “features” of dvSwitches are the following:
- can shape inbound (RX) traffic
- has a central unified management interface through vCenter
- supports Private VLANs (PVLANs)
- provides potential customisation of Data and Control Planes
- supports using the Nexxus 1000v
For more information on the concepts of dvSwitches and the differences between vSwitches and dvSwitches, check out this VMware KB Article.