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SR-IOV Support in the Next Version of Hyper-V

While browsing my list of RSS feeds tonight, I came across a series of articles by John Howard, a senior program manager on the Hyper-V team at Microsoft. The post was one of a series of posts describing SR-IOV support in the next version of Hyper-V, found in Windows “8”. I hadn’t heard that Microsoft was adding SR-IOV support to the next version of Hyper-V, so when I saw that I was surprised. Personally, I think SR-IOV support is a big deal (see the note at the end of this post for why).

If you’re not familiar with SR-IOV, I suggest you read this quick SR-IOV tutorial I published on this site in late 2009.

Here are the links to John’s SR-IOV in Hyper-V posts:

Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V, part 1
Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V, part 2
Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V, part 3
Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V, part 4
Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V, part 5

It’s great to see Microsoft adding SR-IOV support to Hyper-V; this brings SR-IOV out of the niche Linux market and into a broader, more mainstream market. This also applies some competitive pressure against market leader VMware, who now has to respond in some fashion—either by adding SR-IOV support to their ESXi hypervisor, or by explaining why SR-IOV support isn’t necessary. Personally, I hope that VMware does the former and not the latter.

(By the way, for those of you wondering why SR-IOV is important, there are lots of potential synergies here—in my view, at least—between hardware switching on an SR-IOV NIC and things like software-defined networking.)

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