2.15. Oracle VM VirtualBox VNIC Templates for VLANs on Oracle Solaris 11 Hosts

Oracle VM VirtualBox supports Virtual Network Interface (VNIC) templates for configuring VMs over VLANs. An Oracle VM VirtualBox VNIC template is a VNIC whose name starts with vboxvnic_template. The string is case-sensitive.

On Oracle Solaris 11 hosts, when Crossbow-based bridged networking is used, a VNIC template may be used to specify the VLAN ID to use while bridging over a network link.

The following is an example of how to use a VNIC template to configure a VM over a VLAN. Create an Oracle VM VirtualBox VNIC template, by executing as root:

dladm create-vnic -t -l nge0 -v 23 vboxvnic_template0

This will create a temporary VNIC template over interface nge0 with the VLAN ID 23. To create VNIC templates that are persistent across host reboots, skip the -t parameter in the above command. You may check the current state of links using the following command:

$ dladm show-link
LINK        CLASS     MTU    STATE    BRIDGE     OVER
nge0        phys      1500   up       --         --
nge1        phys      1500   down     --         --
vboxvnic_template0 vnic 1500 up       --         nge0

$ dladm show-vnic
LINK         OVER         SPEED  MACADDRESS        MACADDRTYPE         VID
vboxvnic_template0 nge0   1000   2:8:20:25:12:75   random              23

Once the VNIC template is created, any VMs that need to be on VLAN 23 over the interface nge0 can be configured to bridge using this VNIC template.

VNIC templates makes managing VMs on VLANs simpler and efficient. The VLAN details are not stored as part of every VM's configuration but rather inherited from the VNIC template while starting the VM. The VNIC template itself can be modified anytime using the dladm command.

VNIC templates can be created with additional properties such as bandwidth limits and CPU fanout. Refer to your Oracle Solaris network documentation for details. The additional properties are also applied to VMs which bridge using the VNIC template.