Using Solaris and SPARC Networking and Virtualization

What's Up ce-Doc?

There is a large install base of the 1Gigabit Ethernet network interface card called GigaSwift using the Cassini Ethernet (ce) driver. The GigaSwift interface is built onto the motherboard of a large number of systems, and has been the primary dual and quad GbE card available from Sun in PCI, PCI-X, and CPCI formats.

Many of the users running systems with GigaSwift NICs are also interested in running zones with exclusive IP Instances.

However, the ce drivers is a DLPI style-1 driver, not the GLDv3 driver required by IP Instances. Because of the large install base of the GigaSwift NICs, one consideration has been to convert the ce driver to GLDv3. The challenge is: since a lot of users of this NIC also tune its characteristics with ndd(1M), converting ce to GLDv3 would essentially eliminate those tunables. There is work in progress to provide a shim for non-GLDv3 drivers to make the work within the GLDv3 framework. This won't be delivered into Solaris Nevada or OpenSolaris until early next year, and then will need to be backported to Solaris 10.

What do we do for all those users who are currently using ce in the meantime?

Change Requests 6606507 and a>6616075 are being worked on to support the ce driver in zones with exclusive IP Instance. CR 6616075 is for zoneadmd(1M) changes to issue an ioctl when an interface (the "physical" part of the net directive in the zone configuration) is not GLDv3. These are separate CRs because zoneadmd is in Solaris ON (the OS and Networking consolidation) while ce is outside of ON.

The changes are ready to be put in Nevada and OpenSolaris, where the code will undergo a mandatory soak test period of four to six week. Once everything passes Nevada testing, and the changes are integrated into Solaris 10, the patch is created, tested, and issued.

NOTE: Updated 10 December 2007 to correct the bug ID for the zoneadmd part.

Updated 12 March 2008: The patches are now available. See the entry dated Wednesday Jan 30, 2008.

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Comments ( 3 )
  • abdul Sunday, December 9, 2007

    It seems the these changes are already incorporated in the new patch 118777-12. Can you show us how to IP instances with ce drives?

  • Steffen Sunday, December 9, 2007

    This is for 6575845 and both it and the fix for 6606507 are required for ce to work with IP Instances. I will provide an update as soon as I know the fix for 6606507 is in OpenSolaris [1], and another when the patch is available.

    [1] This should be in build 80, which will be out towards the end of December 2007.

  • Olaf Gellert Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    The patches for IP instances on ce interfaces are available for Solaris 10. See:


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