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I'm wondering if it's possible to take advantage of SR-IOV on bare metal hardware without using a hypervisor. In other words, being able to detect and use SR-IOV Virtual Functions as network interfaces on the underlying host (not in a VM).

A lot of SR-IOV capable hardware like the Intel 82599 chips talk specifically about plumbing the VFs into a hypervisor to be used as a network interface. I'm finding very little resources on being able to partition up an SR-IOV NIC on bare metal and I'm wondering if the technology is available yet?



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what benefits do you see in doing this? – tony roth Apr 20 '12 at 16:07
You can probably do that but as tony has pointed out, what's the benefit here? you can already do ip address aliasing and so forth. This is really only useful for virtualization because you remove the overhead of the linux software bridge. – Matt Sep 30 '13 at 2:12
Not only that, but SR-IOV VF adapters can use RDMA with the VM's. Something not available with a virtual software adapter. – Matt Sep 30 '13 at 2:13

You can make use of sr-iov by assigning vlan id and some qos parameters (tx rate, PCP) to each vf.

I don't know whether in-card 802.1q header handling will save some cpu cycles, but qos options may help you shape traffic for different services

Some nice pics from intel:

Details on configuration:

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