SR-IOV offers performance benefits and tradeoffs similar to those of DirectPath I/O. DirectPath I/O and SR-IOV have similar functionality but you use them to accomplish different things.

SR-IOV is beneficial in workloads with very high packet rates or very low latency requirements. Like DirectPath I/O, SR-IOV is not compatible with certain core virtualization features, such as vMotion. SR-IOV does, however, allow for a single physical device to be shared amongst multiple guests.

With DirectPath I/O you can map only one physical function to one virtual machine. SR-IOV lets you share a single physical device, allowing multiple virtual machines to connect directly to the physical function.