Onload and NIC Partitioning

Onload User Guide (UG1586)

Document ID
Release Date
1.2 English

Each physical interface on a Solarflare SFN8000 and X2 series adapter can be exposed to the host as multiple PCIe physical functions (PF). Up to 16 PFs, each having a unique MAC address, are supported per adapter. To Onload, each PF represents a virtual adapter.

Figure 1. Onload and NIC Partitioning

On the adapter each PF is backed by a virtual adapter and virtual port - these components are created by the Solarflare NET driver when it finds a partitioned adapter. The PFs can be configured to transparently place traffic on separate VLANS (so each partition is on a separate broadcast domain).

To configure Onload to use the partitioned NIC:

  • Ensure the adapter is using firmware version (minimum)
  • Use sfboot to select the full-feature firmware variant
  • Use sfboot to partition the NIC into multiple PFs
  • Rebooting the host allows the firmware to partition the NIC into multiple PFs.
  • To identify which physical port a network interface is using:
    # cat /sys/class/net/eth<N>/device/physical_port

For complete details of configuring NIC Partitioning refer to theSRIOV chapter of the Solarflare Server Adapter User Guide (SF-103837-CD), available from the NIC Software and Drivers web page.