Understanding NICs in OVM X86 and SPARC

Today While working on OVM issue I came across very interesting facts about OVM in X86 and SPARC.

OVM x86 :

Case 1: if I am seeing the ethtool output for interface in OVM X86 I have seen the driver is igb. It signifies that its on board NIC.

[root@Node1 ~]# ethtool -i eth0
driver: igb
version: 3.4.8
firmware-version: 1.5-2
bus-info: 0000:20:00.0

Case 2 : For another interface on same server I checked the driver type is sxge means it is communicating using NEM( Network Express Module)

[root@Node1~]# ethtool -i eth4
driver: sxge
version: 0.03302012
bus-info: 0000:a2:00.0

Case 3 : In this case I am seeing the driver is ixgbe. Its connected to external PCI card or in my case I can say that EM(express module).

[root@Node1~]# ethtool -i eth2
driver: ixgbe
version: 3.10.16
firmware-version: 0x27240001
bus-info: 0000:30:00.0


Similar cases has been applied for OVM SPARC as well. But in case of SPARC to check the type we are not having ethtool option. We can use the dladm show-phys command.

root@Node2 :~# dladm show-phys
net1 Ethernet up 1000 full igb1
net0 Ethernet unknown 0 unknown igb0
net5 Ethernet up 10000 full sxge3
net4 Ethernet up 10000 full sxge2
net11 Ethernet up 10000 full ixgbe0
net12 Ethernet up 10000 full ixgbe1
net3 Ethernet up 10000 full sxge1
net2 Ethernet up 10000 full sxge0
net10 Ethernet up 10 full usbecm2


We have one more useful command for Solaris 11. This is  used to check the physical location of ethernet card very useful command.

root@Node2 :~# dladm show-phys -L
net0 igb0 /SYS/MB
net1 igb1 /SYS/MB
net11 ixgbe0 PCI-EM0
net12 ixgbe1 PCI-EM0
net2 sxge0 FEM0/SLOT-0
net3 sxge1 FEM0/SLOT-0
net4 sxge2 FEM1/SLOT-0
net5 sxge3 FEM1/SLOT-0


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