SR-IOV Ethernet InterfacesΒΆ

An SR-IOV Ethernet interface is a physical PCI Ethernet NIC that implements hardware-based virtualization mechanisms to expose multiple virtual network interfaces that can be used by one or more virtual machines simultaneously.

The PCI-SIG SR-IOV specification defines a standardized mechanism to create individual virtual Ethernet devices from a single physical Ethernet interface. For each exposed virtual Ethernet device, formally referred to as a VF, the SR-IOV interface provides separate management memory space, work queues, interrupts resources, and DMA streams, while utilizing common resources behind the host interface. Each VF therefore has direct access to the hardware and can be considered to be an independent Ethernet interface.

The following limitations apply to SR-IOV interfaces:

  • no support for LAG, QoS, ACL, or host interface monitoring

  • no support for live migration