Topics: Hardware, Networking

Integrated Virtual Ethernet adapter

The "Integrated Virtual Ethernet" or IVE adapter is an adapter directly on the GX+ bus, and thus up to 3 times faster dan a regular PCI card. You can order Power6 frames with different kinds of IVE adapters, up to 10GB ports.

The IVE adapter acts as a layer-2 switch. You can create port groups. In each port group up to 16 logical ports can be defined. Every port group requires at least 1 physical port (but 2 is also possible). Each logical port can have a MAC address assigned. These MAC addresses are located in the VPD chip of the IVE. When you replace an IVE adapters, LPARS will get new new MAC addresses.

Each LPAR can only use 1 logical port per physical port. Different LPARs that use logical ports from the same port group can communicate without any external hardware needed, and thus communicate very fast.

The IVE is not hot-swappable. It can and may only be replaced by certified IBM service personnel.

First you need to configure an HAE adapter; not in promiscues mode, because that is meant to be used if you wish to assign a physical port dedicated to an LPAR. After that, you need to assign a LHAE (logical host ethernet adapter) to an LPAR. The HAE needs to be configured, and the frame needs to be restarted, in order to function correctly (because of the setting of multi-core scaling on the HAE itself).

So, to conclude: You can assign physical ports of the IVE adapter to separate LPARS (promiscues mode). If you have an IVE with two ports, up to two LPARS can use these ports. But you can also configure it as an HAE and have up to 16 LPARS per physical port in a port group using the same interface (10Gb ports are recommended). There are different kinds of IVE adapters; some allow to create more port groups and thus more network connectivity. The IVE is a method of virtualizing ethernet without the need for VIOS.

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