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Additional SR-IOV support in vSphere 5.5 (2058280)

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This article provides information on the additional support for Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) that is included in ESXi 5.5.


SR-IOV support in ESXi 5.5

  • ESXi 5.5 supports hosts with AMD processors with SR-IOV.
  • Though a virtual switch (standard switch or distributed switch) does not handle the network traffic of an SR-IOV enabled virtual machine connected to the switch, you can control the assigned virtual functions by using switch configuration policies at the port group or port level. Control path flows through port group settings and rules and settings of portgroup (standard or distributed) are applied to passthrough NICs.
  • You can configure certain networking features on a virtual machine adapter that is associated with virtual function (VF). You must use the settings for the switch, port group, or a port, depending on the type of the virtual switch (standard or distributed) that handles the traffic.

    The various networking options for a virtual machine adapter that uses a VF include:

    • Enabling Virtual Guest Tagging (VGT)
    • Enabling VLAN Switch Tagging (VST) mode
    • Changing the size of the MTU, for example, to enable jumbo frames
    • If the guest operating system changes the initially set MAC address of a virtual machine network adapter that uses a VF, accept or drop incoming frames for the new address by setting the MAC address change option
    • Enabling global promiscuous mode for virtual machine network adapters, including adapters that use VFs

  • You can use an SR-IOV physical adapter to handle virtual machine traffic
    • In vSphere 5.5, both the physical function (PF) and virtual functions (VFs) of an SR-IOV capable physical adapter can be configured to handle virtual machine traffic.
    • The PF of an SR-IOV physical adapter controls the VFs that virtual machines use, and can carry the traffic flowing through the standard or distributed switch that handles the networking of these SR-IOV enabled virtual machines.
    • The SR-IOV physical adapter works in these different modes:
      • Mixed Mode
      • SR-IOV Only Mode
      • Non SR-IOV Mode

Additional Information

For more information, see the Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) section in the vSphere Networking Guide.

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