Hi Folks,

I wanted to share the excitement buzzing around the Intel booth with you, with regard to the SR-IOV announcement, and a follow up to Simon Crosby’s earlier post. VMWare and Hyper-V don’t have SR-IOV support yet, Citrix XenServer supports it in the shipping code of XenServer 5.6

Why It’s Important:

NO SR-IOV (all network traffic is handled by VMM or Dom0) then:

  • Users see slower performance, because Dom0 is busy processing network queues
  • Power Consumption on the server goes up
  • Primary reason why taking high Network I/O workloads wasn’t recommended.

WITH SR-IOV (network traffic is handled directly by the VF (Virtual Function) on the network card, bypassing the VMM or Dom0 and:

  • Users experience faster performance
  • Less network I/O errors
  • VMM or Dom0 is happy to process other things than the network queue.
  • Now applications like Citrix Provisioning Server can be virtual.

Please read more about how to take Provisioning Server virtual here:
XenServer SR-IOV Support for Provisioning Services Virtual Machines

And Check Out These 2 In Depth Videos on how Network Traffic is handled in Virtual Environments:
Patrick Kutch (Intel) on VMDq
Patrick Kutch (Intel) on SR-IOV

Thank you to:

  • Patrick Carey @Citrix
  • Brian Johnson @Intel
  • And everyone else who worked behind the scenes to make a killer demo that is getting much attention at the Intel Developer Forum (iDF) in San Francisco (Sept 13-15, 2010)

Picture = 10,000 words (Below is a demo of a virtual Provisioning Server first without SR-IOV streaming 600 desktops, then PVS Server with SR-IOV streaming 600 desktop workloads.