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Re: [Xen-users] Recommendations for Virtulization Hardware

  • To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • From: ShadesOfGrey <shades_of_grey@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 09:04:52 -0400
  • Delivery-date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 13:06:52 +0000
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xen.org>

On 09/26/2012 09:57 PM, Robert Rust wrote:
On 9/26/12 8:34 PM, ShadesOfGrey wrote:
On 09/24/2012 08:49 AM, Robin Axelsson wrote:
On 2012-09-24 05:45, ShadesOfGrey wrote:
Sorry for the late response, I've had a lot to digest.
The lack of current information about Xen (and KVM) online has been
frustrating — especially finding the many proof of concept videos
that demonstrated possibilities but offered no real specifics.
Looking for specifics, I sought information from gaming and
enthusiast sites; I figured finding confirmation of VT-d and AMD-Vi
support on such sites would be more likely. However, I found that
wasn't often the case. I did determine that ASRock motherboards seem
to be the most likely to support VT-d, ASUS least likely (unless
equipped with an Intel 'sanctioned' VT-d chipset). I had narrowed my
choices to two motherboards that appear to offer VT-d support and was
intending to contact the manufacturer before purchase. Both choices
are a bit pricey and I've been reconsidering whether I should look to
other motherboards to reduce costs.

Some motherboards support IOMMU even though it is not found in the
user manual or specified on the website. Your best bet is to ask
customer support. A guy posted here that he got it working on an Intel
motherboard that doesn't even have options for it in the BIOS, so it
seems that in some cases it is only up to the CPU. This is not the
case with AMD though as I stated before. I have bought a couple of
Gigabyte GA990FX-UD7 myself, they are stable and have a good layout.
They have support for IOMMU but I haven't tested it thoroughly enough
to fully confirm this although I don't believe there would be any

I'm aware of this.  In fact, I only have anecdotal evidence that the
Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 has IOMMU (VT-d) support.  I intend to query the
manufacturers, seeking confirmation of IOMMU support, of every
motherboard that ends up on my short list.  I may include other Z77
motherboards from MSI and Gigabyte, since there is concrete evidence
that the Z77 chipset does support IOMMU.  I did focus, however, on those
motherboards I had some inkling could support IOMMU.  Now I'm trying to
expand my selection process to include less expensive options.

I have a Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H, which I can confirm does support IOMMU ... I'm passing PCI video tuner cards to two different DomUs and a PCI-Express 1x USB card to another DomU. I also have an Intel DH77KC that does IOMMU but the H77 chipset support was (is?) buggy in the current mainstream kernel releases so it's still in the box on the shelf.


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The GA-Z77-DS3H doesn't fit my particular needs, but I appreciate your confirming IOMMU support on that motherboard. If you ever get IOMMU working on the DH77KC, please let us know.

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