Virtual Switching in Solaris with Crossbow VNICs

Virtual NICs, also known as VNICs, are a core components of project Crossbow. They allow physical NICs to be shared by multiple Zones or virtual machines such as Xen domains. VNICs appear to the rest of the system as regular NICs. VNICs can be assigned a subset of the hardware resources (interrupts, rings, etc) made available by the underlying hardware.

In order to provide connectivity between the multiple Zones or virtual machines sharing a single physical NIC, the VNIC layer also provides a data-path between the VNICs defined on top of the same underlying NIC. The VNICs sharing the same underlying NIC appear to be part of the same segment, i.e. connected to a same virtual switch. The virtual switch concept also allow fully virtual networks to be be built within a machine.

A couple of days ago I posted a first draft design document describing the concept of virtual switches, how they are implemented by VNICs in Solaris, and how they can be used in practice.

Comments:

The VNIC document looks good. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to play with some of this stuff.

Posted by Garrett D'Amore on April 04, 2007 at 02:27 AM PDT #

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