Enable SR-IOV on ESXi

Single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) allows a single PCIe physical device under a single root port to appear to be multiple separate physical devices to the hypervisor or guest. Enable SR-IOV by enabling virtual function devices on the SR-IOV NIC and the modify the guest settings in vCenter.
SR-IOV on the VM-Series for ESXi requires one of the following Intel NIC drivers.
Driver Filename
Version
ixgbe/ixgbe.ko
4.2.0.4.1
ixgbevf/ixgbevf.ko
2.14.2
i40e/i40e.ko
1.3.49
i49evf/i40evf.ko
1.2.25
Complete the following procedure to enable SR-IOV.
  1. Enable virtual function (VF) devices on the SR-IOV NIC. max_vfs is the maximum number of virtual functions allowed on a physical port. The maximum limit depends on the number of VFs supported for your ESXi hosts, your adaptors, and your server configuration. Consult your driver documentation.
    1. Log in to the ESXi host CLI.
    2. Use the following command to specify the maximum number of VFs (max_vfs) per port.
      $
      esxcli system module parameters set -m
      <nic_driver>
      -p “max_vfs=
      <n>
      If you have a multi-port NIC or multiple NICs using the same driver, you must specify a comma-separated list of max_vfs values. You list the numbers in the order of the NIC ports on the PCI bus, where each number corresponds to the number of VFs enabled on a physical port. For example, for ixgbe, you can specify:
      $
      esxcli system module parameters set -m ixgbe -p "max_vfs=8,8,8"
    3. After the VF devices are enabled, shut down all VMs, including the vCenter Server Appliance, and reboot the ESXi host.
  2. Modify the guest settings in vCenter.
    1. Log in to vCenter and select your VM-Series firewall guest machine.
    2. Select
      Manage
      Settings
      VM Hardware
      and
      Edit
      the hardware settings.
    3. Select
      Virtual Hardware
      .
    4. Choose
      PCI Device
      from the
      New device
      drop-down and click
      Add
      .
    5. Edit the settings of the added PCI device, select the PCI ID corresponding to an available virtual function device.
  3. Reboot the ESXi host for your changes to take effect.

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