linux-lts: lacks VF driver for Intel X700/E800 series NICs
It seems lts and even testing edge kernel for virt have not included the VF driver for some Intel NICs. Namely, it's
i40evf and was succeeded by
iavf. Some backgrounds in case folks are not familiar with this area:
SR-IOV is widely used by customers concerned with performance cost in device emulation, from cloud providers to telco. The NIC which is usually referred to as PF (physical function) spawns one or more VFs (virtual function) in hardware. The hypervisor passthrough's them to the VM for the guest OS to directly drive them. Hence corresponding VF drivers are needed. As for Intel NICs, the driver is
ixgbevf for X500 series and it has been there. But there lacks the VF driver for the high-end X700 series and the cutting-edge E800 series. The driver was
i40evf but then renamed to
iavf by Intel.
Specifically, we need to turn on the highlighted line below in the
config-virt.* (at least
x86_64) to add the
2235 CONFIG_IXGBEVF=m 2236 # CONFIG_I40E is not set 2237 # CONFIG_I40EVF is not set <<<<<<<<<<<< 2238 # CONFIG_ICE is not set
I know alpine cares about every byte to add, but these VF drivers are as vital to VMs as the corresponding PF drivers to bare-metals. It's a one-line change so I'm reluctant for the patch process.