Oracle® VM Server for SPARC 3.3 Administration Guide

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Updated: October 2015

Advanced SR-IOV Topics: Ethernet SR-IOV

This section describes some advanced topics related to using SR-IOV virtual functions.

Advanced Network Configuration for Virtual Functions

    When you use SR-IOV virtual functions, note the following issues:

  • SR-IOV virtual functions can only use the MAC addresses that are assigned by the Logical Domains Manager. If you use other Oracle Solaris OS networking commands to change the MAC address on the I/O domain, the commands might fail or might not function properly.

  • At this time, link aggregation of SR-IOV network virtual functions in the I/O domain is not supported. If you attempt to create a link aggregation, it might not function as expected.

  • You can create virtual I/O services and assign them to I/O domains. These virtual I/O services can be created on the same physical function from which virtual functions are also created. For example, you can use an on-board 1-Gbps network device (net0 or igb0) as a network back-end device for a virtual switch and also statically create virtual functions from the same physical function device.

Booting an I/O Domain by Using an SR-IOV Virtual Function

An SR-IOV virtual function provides similar capabilities to any other type of PCIe device, such as the ability to use a virtual function as a logical domain boot device. For example, a network virtual function can be used to boot over the network to install the Oracle Solaris OS in an I/O domain.

Note - When booting the Oracle Solaris OS from a virtual function device, verify that the Oracle Solaris OS that is being loaded has virtual function device support. If so, you can continue with the rest of the installation as planned.

SR-IOV Device-Specific Properties

SR-IOV physical function device drivers can export device-specific properties. These properties can be used to tune the resource allocation of both the physical function and its virtual functions. For information about the properties, see the man page for the physical function driver, such as the igb(7D) and ixgbe(7D) man pages.

The ldm list-io -d command shows device-specific properties that are exported by the specified physical function device driver. The information for each property includes its name, brief description, default value, maximum values, and one or more of the following flags:


Applies to a physical function


Applies to a virtual function


Read-only or informative parameter only

primary# ldm list-io -d pf-name

Use the ldm create-vf or ldm set-io command to set the read-write properties for a physical function or a virtual function. Note that to set a device-specific property, you must use the static method. See Static SR-IOV.

The following example shows the device-specific properties that are exported by the on-board Intel 1-Gbps SR-IOV device:

primary# ldm list-io -d /SYS/MB/NET0/IOVNET.PF0
Device-specific Parameters
    Flags = PR
    Default = 7
    Descr = Max number of configurable VFs
    Flags = VR
    Default = 9216
    Descr = Max MTU supported for a VF
    Flags = VR
    Default = 32
    Descr = Max number of VLAN filters supported
    Flags = VR
    Default = 1
    Descr = Exclusive configuration of pvid required
    Flags = PV
    Default = 0 Min = 0 Max = 24
    Descr = Number of unicast mac-address slots

The following example sets the unicast-slots property to 8:

primary# ldm create-vf unicast-slots=8 /SYS/MB/NET0/IOVNET.PF0

Creating VNICs on SR-IOV Virtual Functions

The creation of Oracle Solaris 11 VNICs is supported on SR-IOV virtual functions. However, the number of VNICs that is supported is limited to the number of alternate MAC addresses (alt-mac-addrs property) assigned to the virtual function. Make sure that you assign a sufficient number of alternate MAC addresses when you use VNICs on the virtual function. Use the ldm create-vf or ldm set-io command to set the alt-mac-addrs property with the alternate MAC addresses.

The following example shows the creation of four VNICs on an SR-IOV virtual function. The first command assigns alternate MAC addresses to the virtual function device. This command uses the automatic allocation method to allocate four alternate MAC addresses to the /SYS/MB/NET0/IOVNET.PF0.VF0 virtual function device:

primary# ldm set-io alt-mac-addrs=auto,auto,auto,auto /SYS/MB/NET0/IOVNET.PF0.VF0

The next command starts the ldg1 I/O domain. Because the auto-boot? property is set to true in this example, the Oracle Solaris 11 OS is also booted in the I/O domain.

primary# ldm start ldg1

The following command uses the Oracle Solaris 11 dladm command in the guest domain to show virtual function that has alternate MAC addresses. This output shows that the net30 virtual function has four alternate MAC addresses.

guest# dladm show-phys -m
LINK              SLOT     ADDRESS            INUSE CLIENT
net0              primary  0:14:4f:fa:b4:d1   yes   net0
net25             primary  0:14:4f:fa:c9:eb   no    --
net30             primary  0:14:4f:fb:de:4c   no    --
                   1       0:14:4f:f9:e8:73   no    --
                   2       0:14:4f:f8:21:58   no    --
                   3       0:14:4f:fa:9d:92   no    --
                   4       0:14:4f:f9:8f:1d   no    --

The following commands create four VNICs. Note that attempts to create more VNICs than are specified by using alternate MAC addresses will fail.

guest# dladm create-vnic -l net30 vnic0
guest# dladm create-vnic -l net30 vnic1
guest# dladm create-vnic -l net30 vnic2
guest# dladm create-vnic -l net30 vnic3
guest# dladm show-link
LINK                CLASS     MTU    STATE    OVER
net0                phys      1500   up       --
net25               phys      1500   up       --
net30               phys      1500   up       --
vnic0               vnic      1500   up       net30
vnic1               vnic      1500   up       net30
vnic2               vnic      1500   up       net30
vnic3               vnic      1500   up       net30