vSphere 5.1 and later supports SR-IOV in an environment with specific configuration only. Some features of vSphere are not functional when SR-IOV is enabled.
To use SR-IOV in vSphere 6.0, your environment must meet several configuration requirements.
|PF driver in ESXi for the physical NIC||
|Guest OS||Must be supported by the NIC on the installed ESXi release according to the technical documentation from the NIC vendor.|
|VF driver in the guest OS||
To verify that your physical hosts and NICs are compatible with ESXi releases, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
Availability of Features
The following features are not available for virtual machines configured with SR-IOV:
- vSphere vMotion
- Storage vMotion
- VXLAN Virtual Wire
- vSphere High Availability
- vSphere Fault Tolerance
- vSphere DRS
- vSphere DPM
- Virtual machine suspend and resume
- Virtual machine snapshots
- MAC-based VLAN for passthrough virtual functions
- Hot addition and removal of virtual devices, memory, and vCPU
- Participation in a cluster environment
- Network statistics for a virtual machine NIC using SR-IOV passthrough
All NICs must have drivers and firmware that support SR-IOV. Some NICs might require SR-IOV to be enabled on the firmware. To learn what NICs are supported for virtual machines configured with SR-IOV, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
Upgrading from vSphere 5.0 and Earlier
If you upgrade from vSphere 5.0 or earlier to vSphere 5.5 or later, SR-IOV support is not available until you update the NIC drivers for the vSphere release. Firmware and drivers that support SR-IOV must be enabled for NICs so that SR-IOV functionality can operate.
Upgrading from vSphere 5.1
Although SR-IOV is supported on ESXi 5.1 hosts satisfying the requirements, you cannot configure SR-IOV on them by using the vSphere Web Client. Use the max_vfs parameter of the NIC driver module to enable SR-IOV on these hosts. See Enabling SR-IOV by Using Host Profiles or an ESXCLI Command.
You also cannot assign an SR-IOV passthrough adapter to a virtual machine on such a host. The adapter is available for virtual machines that are compatible with ESXi 5.5 and later. Although a vCenter Server 5.5 release might be managing an ESXi 5.1 host, the configuration is the same as in release 5.1. You must add a PCI device to the virtual machine hardware and manually select a VF for the device.