For existing customers, this section highlights the key changes in this release.
Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) support for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones – Kernel zones can now use the SR-IOV virtual function (VF) of a NIC, which provides better networking performance. When you create or modify the kernel zone with the SR-IOV VF, you can specify the iov property for the anet resource by using the zonecfg command. For more information, see Configuring Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones With SR-IOV VFs.
Using large receive offload for datalinks – The large receive offload (LRO) feature enables the merging of successive incoming TCP packets into a single packet before the packets are delivered to the IP layer. The incoming TCP packets must share the same source IP address and port number, destination IP address and port number and the protocol in use. You can use the lro property with the dladm and zonecfg commands to enable the LRO feature on datalinks. For more information, see Using the Large Receive Offload Feature in Oracle Solaris.
Support for Hardware Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) for VNICs – In certain situations, you can use the new resource management capability, bandwidth shares, on Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones running on a system that is using a NIC that supports SR-IOV PCIe virtual functions (VFs), for example, Intel's Fortville NIC. If a NIC supports hardware SLAs that enable you to set SLA properties for VF VNICs, the SLA implementation is offloaded to the NIC automatically by the system. This behavior helps you to save CPU cycles. The capability is administered through the dladm command. For more information, see Setting Hardware SLA Properties for VF VNICs.
Elastic Virtual Switch (EVS) enhancements – EVS now supports multiple uplink ports per compute node, allocation pools by using the pool property, and the ability to explicitly set link protection per port. For more information, see Setting Properties for an EVS Controller, Adding an IPnet to an Elastic Virtual Switch, and Figure 4, Table 4, VPort Properties.
Flat EVS Network – You can create a flat L2-type EVS and place all the VM instances on the same segment without a virtual local area network (VLAN) or virtual extensible local area network (VXLAN) so that the VM instances share the same network and therefore the same IP address space as a compute server. For more information, see Flat EVS Networks.
Paravirtualized IP over InfiniBand (IPoIB) datalinks support in Kernel Zones – InfiniBand support is now available for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones including improved observability and paravirtualized support for the IPoIB protocol. The paravirtualized IPoIB datalink is created as an anet resource in the Oracle Solaris Kernel Zone, which you can configure by using the zonecfg command. For more information, see Creating and Viewing Paravirtualized IPoIB Datalinks in Kernel Zones.
Packet drops accounting and reporting for datalinks – The dlstat show-phys command now displays the input and output packet drops per physical datalink and the number of bytes for each drops. For more information, see Displaying Network Traffic Statistics of Network Devices.
Private VLAN (PVLAN) VNIC – Enables you to configure private VLAN (PVLAN) VNICs that are used to divide a VLAN into sub-VLANs. These sub-VLANs isolate network traffic to provide better usage of the limited number of available VLANs. For more information, see How to Configure VNICs as PVLANs and Modifying PVLAN VNICs.
Configuring an IPoIB VNIC by using the dladm command – Oracle Solaris 11.3 provides unified administration model between IPoIB partitions and Ethernet VNICs. You can now use the dladm command to create IPoIB VNICs that conform to the Ethernet VNIC model and leverage the features offered by the VNICs. In addition, you can use the dladm delete-vnic and dladm show-vnic commands to delete an IPoIB VNIC and view information about it. For more information, see Configuring IPoIB VNICs.