CERN Accelerating science

Single-Root Input/Output Virtualization (SR-IOV) with Linux Containers

Date published: 
5 Sep 2016

Virtualization is a technology offering an abstraction layer between software and hardware. It can emulate a hardware platform in order to provide the operating system abstractions of various resources. It is also a means to easily manage hardware resources and to run services in the cloud. One of the main disadvantages of the traditional hypervisor-based virtualization is, however, that it introduces a large overhead with respect to memory and CPU1 usage. Linux* Containers (abbreviated to LXC) is a lightweight alternative to the traditional approach, providing separation of namespaces and file systems while running all processes on a single kernel. Combined with Single-Root Input/Output Virtualization (abbreviated to SR-IOV) it can provide a solution that allows the containers to appear in the network as separate compute-nodes with exclusive MAC2 addresses, while sharing one link and physical network adapter.