IBM Power Systems SR-IOV: Technical Overview and Introduction

An IBM Redpaper publication

Published 29 July 2014, updated 12 January 2017

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ISBN-10: 073845379X
ISBN-13: 9780738453798
IBM Form #: REDP-5065-00
(84 pages)

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Authors: Scott Vetter, Shivaji D Bhosale, Alexandre Bicas Caldeira, Bartłomiej Grabowski, Chuck Graham, Alexander D Hames, Volker Haug, Marc-Eric Kahle, Cesar Diniz Maciel, Manjunath N Mangalur, Monica Sanchez


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