Oracle® VM Server for SPARC 3.2 Administration Guide

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Updated: May 2015

Using Fibre Channel SR-IOV Virtual Functions

Starting with the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 release provides support for SR-IOV Fibre Channel. An SR-IOV Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) might have one or more ports each of which appears as SR-IOV physical function. You can identify Fibre Channel physical functions by the IOVFC string in its device name.

Each Fibre Channel physical function has unique port and node world-wide name (WWN) values that are provided by the card manufacturer. When you create virtual functions from a Fibre Channel physical function, the virtual functions behave like a Fibre Channel HBA device. Each virtual function must have a unique identity that is specified by the port WWN and node WWN of the SAN fabric. You can use the Logical Domains Manager to automatically or manually assign the port and node WWNs. By assigning your own values, you can fully control the identity of any virtual function.

The Fibre Channel HBA virtual functions use the N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) method to log in to the SAN fabric. Because of this NPIV requirement, you must connect the Fibre Channel HBA port to an NPIV-capable Fibre Channel switch. The virtual functions are managed entirely by the hardware or the firmware of the SR-IOV card. Other than these exceptions, Fibre Channel virtual functions work and behave the same way as a non-SR-IOV Fibre Channel HBA device. The SR-IOV virtual functions have the same capabilities as the non-SR-IOV devices, so all types of SAN storage devices are supported in either configuration.

The virtual functions' unique port and node WWN values enable a SAN administrator to assign storage to the virtual functions in the same way as he would for any non-SR-IOV Fibre Channel HBA port. This mananagement includes zoning, LUN masking, and quality of service (QoS). You can configure the storage so that it is accessible exclusively to a specific logical domain without being visible to the physical function in the root domain.

You can use both the static and dynamic SR-IOV methods to manage Fibre Channel SR-IOV devices.