IBM Power Systems SR-IOV: Technical Overview and Introduction

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This IBM® RedpaperTM publication describes the adapter-based virtualization capabilities that are being deployed in high-end IBM POWER7+TM processor-based servers.

Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) is a virtualization technology on IBM Power Systems servers. SR-IOV allows multiple logical partitions (LPARs) to share a PCIe adapter with little or no run time involvement of a hypervisor or other virtualization intermediary.

SR-IOV does not replace the existing virtualization capabilities that are offered as part of the IBM PowerVM® offerings. Rather, SR-IOV compliments them with additional capabilities.

This paper describes many aspects of the SR-IOV technology, including:

  • A comparison of SR-IOV with standard virtualization technology
  • Overall benefits of SR-IOV
  • Architectural overview of SR-IOV
  • Planning requirements
  • SR-IOV deployment models that use standard I/O virtualization
  • Configuring the adapter for dedicated or shared modes
  • Tips for maintaining and troubleshooting your system
  • Scenarios for configuring your system

This paper is directed to clients, IBM Business Partners, and system administrators who are involved with planning, deploying, configuring, and maintaining key virtualization technologies.


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