Networking Connectivity
IntelŽ Server Adapters
FAQs: Using SR-IOV with IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapters

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about using Intel® Ethernet Adapters with Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV):

Which Intel® Ethernet Adapters and Controllers support SR-IOV?
Which hypervisors support SR-IOV on Intel® Ethernet Adapters?
Which guest operating systems have virtual function drivers?
Where can I get the virtual function (VF) drivers?
How can I make SR-IOV work in Linux*?
Can I use SR-IOV with Microsoft Hyper-V*?
Can I use SR-IOV with VMware products*?
Related topics

Which Intel® Ethernet Adapters and controllers support SR-IOV?

  • Intel® Ethernet Controller X540 Family
    • Intel® Ethernet Controller X540-AT1
    • Intel® Ethernet Controller X540-AT2
  • Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 Family
    • Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540-T1
    • Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540-T2
  • Intel® 82599 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller Family
    • Intel® Ethernet 82599EB 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    • Intel® Ethernet 82599ES 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    • Intel® Ethernet 82599EN 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520 Family
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-DA2
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-SR1
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-SR2
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-LR1
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-T2
  • Intel® Ethernet Controller I350 Family
    • Intel® Ethernet Controller I350-AM4
    • Intel® Ethernet Controller I350-AM2
    • Intel® Ethernet Controller I350-BT2
  • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350 Family
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T2
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T4
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-F2
    • Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-F4
  • Intel® 82576 Gigabit Ethernet Controller Family
    • Intel® 82576EB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    • Intel® 82576NS Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Intel® Gigabit ET/EF Server Adapter Family
    • Intel® Gigabit ET Dual Port Server Adapter
    • Intel® Gigabit EF Dual Port Server Adapter
    • Intel® Gigabit ET2 Quad Port Server Adapter
Note PCI-SIG SR-IOV requires support from the operating system and hardware platform. Some systems support SR-IOV through some PCI Express* slots, but not on some other slots. Consult your manufacturer's documentation for SR-IOV support on your system.

Which hypervisors support SR-IOV on Intel® Ethernet Adapters?
Microsoft Hyper-V* (Windows Server 2012*)
VMware* vSphere 5.1
Xen Hypervisor*
KVM* (Kernel Based Virtual Machine)

Which guest operating systems (GOS) have virtual function drivers?
virtual function (VF) drivers for guest operating systems are available for:

  • Windows Server 2012*.
  • Windows 8*.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2*.
  • Windows Server 2008*, 32-bit and 64-bit.
  • Linux* 2.6.30 kernel or later.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4* and later. 
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0* and later.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11* SP1 and later.

Where can I get the virtual function (VF) drivers?
VF Drivers for Microsoft Windows* are included in the Intel® Ethernet Software Package for Windows*.
Intel® Ethernet software and drivers for Windows Server 2012*
Intel® Ethernet software and drivers for Windows Server 2008 R2*
Intel® Ethernet software and drivers for Windows Server 2008*
Intel® Ethernet software and drivers for Windows 8*

Linux* VF drivers are included with the distributions or you can download them from Intel Download Center.
Network Adapter virtual function Driver for 82576-Based Gigabit Network Connections for Linux*
Network Adapter virtual function Driver for 82599-Based 10 Gigabit Network Connections

FreeBSD* VF drivers can be downloaded from the FreeBSD* Project.
e1000 driver for FreeBSD*

How can I make SR-IOV work in Linux*?
An example is provided in Setting up Red Hat 5.4* Xen for SR-IOV using the Intel 82576 GbE.

Note SR-IOV with the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520 series is not supported by the Red Hat 5.4 Xen* distribution. Use the Xen Hypervisor* from Xen.org with the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520 series.

Can I use SR-IOV with Microsoft Hyper-V*?
Yes. Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012* and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012* enable support for SR-IOV–capable network devices and let an SR-IOV virtual function of a physical network adapter be assigned directly to a virtual machine. Earlier versions of Hyper-V do not support SR-IOV.

Find out more about SR-IOV support in Microsoft* Hyper-V:

Can I use SR-IOV with VMware* products?
VMware* VSphere 5.1 adds support for SR-IOV.

Note VMware VSphere* does not Support Simultaneous FCoE and SR-IOV
VMware* VSphere 5.1 adds support for SR-IOV. Intel® Ethernet Converged Network adapters support both Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and SR-IOV. However, FCoE and SR-IOV cannot be configured simultaneously on the same physical port in VMware’s implementation of SR-IOV for Intel® Ethernet Adapters.

Guest Operating System Support for SR-IOV in VMware ESXi 5.1 or Later
Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) in VMware* vSphere 5.1 documentation center
VMware vSphere Documentation
Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter and VMware vSphere 5.1 Product Reference
Simplified, High-Performance 10GbE Networks Based on a Single Virtual Distributed Switch Managed by VMware vSphere* 5.1

Related topics
Intel SR-IOV Explanation (YouTube*)
PCI-SIG* SR-IOV Primer: An Introduction to SR-IOV Technology
Intel® Virtualization Technology for Connectivity
Technology Brief: Intel® Virtualization Technology for Connectivity
Intel® Virtualization Transforms IT
Intel Communities: Wired Ethernet

This applies to:

IntelŽ Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520 Series
IntelŽ Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540-T1
IntelŽ Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540-T2
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter I350-F2
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter I350-F4
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T2
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T4
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter X520 Series
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter X520-DA2
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter X520-LR1
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter X520-SR1
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter X520-SR2
IntelŽ Ethernet Server Adapter X520-T2
IntelŽ Gigabit EF Dual Port Server Adapter
IntelŽ Gigabit ET Dual Port Server Adapter
IntelŽ Gigabit ET2 Quad Port Server Adapter

Solution ID: CS-031492
Last Modified: 19-Aug-2014
Date Created: 24-Mar-2010
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