Why do the PCIIDs change on my NICs when I change from "dedicated" to "shared" mode on my BladeSymphony server via the Virtage hardware partitioning firmware when this function is enabled?

Updated -

Issue

Why do the PCIIDs change on my NICs when I change from "dedicated" to "shared" mode on my BladeSymphony server via the Virtage hardware partitioning firmware when this function is enabled?

Environment

Virtage hardware partitioning feature enabled on Hitachi BladeSymphony(Hitachi Compute Blade) servers.

Resolution

With Hitachi Virtage hardware partitioning enabled, when changing from "dedicated" allocation mode where a particular NIC is assigned to a single hardware partition to "shared" allocation mode where that NIC is utilized by the operating systems running in multiple partitions, the PCIID of the NIC is subject to change.

Per Hitachi's specification, the following modes exist for the physical devices with Virtage hardware partitioning enabled:

  • Dedicated: This type of device can be assigned to a single LPAR at a time. The assigned LPAR uses the physical device exclusively. To detach or assign the device from a LPAR, the LPAR has to be shut down.
  • Shared: This type of physical device can be assigned to multiple LPARs. Multiple LPARs can share the device as a result of time sharing control.
  • Exclusively Shared: This type of physical device can be assigned to a single LPAR at a time. The assigned LPAR uses the device exclusively. The device can be detached or assigned without shutting down any running LPARs.

The following NICs appear to the guest operating systems as follows:

  • 8 port 1Gb Ethernet LAN adapter(Broadcom BCM5719)
    • Dedicated Allocation Mode: 8 port 1Gb Ethernet LAN adapter (Broadcom BCM5719)
    • Shared Allocation Mode: Intel(R) Gigabit Ethernet Network Connection (Intel 82576)
  • Virtage hardware partitioning also provides the guest operating system with the appearance of a virtual NIC, a 1 port Intel(R) Gigabit Ethernet Network Connection (Intel 82576); it is intended for inter-LPAR network usage only.

* "Virtage" is a trademark for Hitachi's hardware partitioning system. This trademark is only used in the United States and Japan.