SR-IOV on vSphere Licensing

gman1

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Sep 18, 2016
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Has anyone actually gotten SR-IOV to work on vSphere 6 using the free license? I've got the supermicro xeon D-1540 and when I configure SR-IOV for the 10GBE NICs and then add to a VM I get the following error:

"Failed to power on virtual machine FreeNAS. Cannot perform this operation due to a license restriction. Either the license edition of the ESXi host does not support this operation, or the vCenter Server system that manages the host has a license that restricts this operation through a direct connection to this host. Check the licensed features for the host or connect to vCenter Server and retry the operation. Click here for more details."

Digging further in the logs, it notes the following:

"State
Failed - Cannot perform this operation due to a license restriction. Either the license edition of the ESXi host does not support this operation, or the vCenter Server system that manages the host has a license that restricts this operation through a direct connection to this host. Check the licensed features for the host or connect to vCenter Server and retry the operation.

Errors

  • SR-IOV passthrough adapter is not supported with this license of the product.
  • Failed to start the virtual machine."
 

NetWise

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
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Edmonton, AB, Canada
My understanding is that is not a feature exposed in 'free' ESXi.

Have you updated the driver on the NIC on the host? The built in ones don't always work.

Why not just use a VMXNET3 adapter?


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gman1

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Sep 18, 2016
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It was a big Easter Egg hunt to figure out all the steps to configure SR-IOV as there was no single step-by-step guide, and now it is pretty frustrating to have figured it out only to be hit with a "license won't support that feature". The steps I figured out were as follows:

1) Install NIC driver net-ixgbe_4.4.1-1OEM.600.0.0.2159203.vib
2) Update Host client: esxui-signed-4393350.vib
3) Enable SR-IOV on NIC using SSL (PUTTY): esxcli system module parameters set -m ixgbe -p max_vfs=10,10
4) Reboot ESXi
5) Verified that SR-IOV shows up using Host Client: Host > Manage > Hardware
6) Assign SR-IOV to VM using Host Client: Virtual Machines > VM-FreeNAS > Edit > Add Other Device > PCI Device
7) Boot VM using Host Client only to encounter license error.
 
Aug 2, 2015
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Perhaps if your ESXi install is still on the 60 days evaluation mode without any license key, it should support SR-IOV for your testing?
 

NetWise

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
599
130
43
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Intel's docs, updated for vSphere 6 state Hardware Requirements of Xeon E5 or E7. Are you sure it's supported on the D-1540?


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whitey

Moderator
Jun 30, 2014
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Intel's docs, updated for vSphere 6 state Hardware Requirements of Xeon E5 or E7. Are you sure it's supported on the D-1540?


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That's a Xeon based proc and newer silicon/fab so I'd imagine so just guessing, certainly not an E5/E7 line but if that had it in those architectures surely they would not strip it.

2cents, if anyone knows answer for sure I'm interested. Never needed this feature myself, vmxnet3's of vt-D has always suited my needs...and if you REALLY wanna get crazy network overlays via VXLAN.