SR-IOV stands for Single Root I/O Virtualization. It is an extension to the PCI Express (PCIe) specification that allows multiple operating systems to simultaneously share a PCIe adapter with little or no runtime involvement from a hypervisor or other virtualization intermediary.
For more detailed information, see:
Implementing the SR-IOV technology requires some planning which starts with the appropriate operating system levels, firmware level, adapter types, and adapter settings.
SR-IOV hardware requirements and planning
SR-IOV adapters provide one or more external ports. The unit of virtualization is a slice of a port, also known as the virtual function (VF) and logical port (LP), as described in 1.4, Architecture overview on page 5.
SR-IOV functions present a number of configuration options that must be taken into consideration when planning. This section describes the server support requirement for implementing the SR-IOV functions along with IBM PowerVM.
To enable the SR-IOV adapter sharing function, a server that supports SR-IOV is required in addition to an SR-IOV capable I/O adapter. You must be aware of hardware considerations, such as:
- Not all I/O slots support SR-IOV
- SR-IOV-capable I/O slots may have different capabilities
- The capabilities of SR-IOV adapters may differ
- PowerVM Standard or Enterprise Edition is required for using SR-IOV
Hardware requirements related to SR-IOV functions are as following:
- IBM Power 770 (Machine type 9117-MMD)
- IBM Power 780 (Machine type 9179-MHD)
- IBM Power ESE (Machine type 8412-EAD)
Firmware level: SR-IOV is supported from level 780. Check the Fix Central portal to verify the specific firmware level for your type of the machine.
One of the following integrated PCIe adapters:
- Integrated Multifunction Card with 10GbE RJ45 and Copper Twinax (#EN10)
- Integrated Multifunction Card with 10GbE RJ45 and SR Optical (#EN11)
One of the following pluggable PCIe adapters:
- PCIe2 4-port (10Gb FCoE and 1GbE) SR&RJ45 Adapter (#EN0H)
- PCIe2 4-port (10Gb FCoE and 1GbE) SFP+Copper and RJ4 Adapter (#EN0K)
An available PCIe Gen2 slot for the adapter
Operating system requirements
Minimum operating system requirements related to SR-IOV functions are:
- Virtual I/O Server Version 126.96.36.199
- AIX 6.1 Technology Level 9 with Service Pack 2
- AIX 7.1 Technology Level 3 with Service Pack 2
- SLES Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5
- IBM i 7.1 TR8
- IBM i 7.2
System management requirements
The Hardware Management Console (HMC) is required for the IBM Power 770 (machine type 9117-MMD), the IBM Power 780 (Machine type 9179-MHD), and the IBM Power ESE (Macine type 8412-EAD), and it is required to configure SR-IOV.
The minimum HMC code level for SR-IOV support is Version 7 Release 7.9.0 (HMC V7R7.9.0).