Cyborg Intel® x710 driver proposal

This spec proposes to provide a new Cyborg driver for Intel® x710 dirver, which is mentioned in Nova’s SRIOV Nic Support spec 1. In Cyborg side, we need to implement a driver for SRIOV Nic in order to manage the lifecycle of this device, and to allow Nova request this kind of resource from Cyborg.

Problem description

The Intel Ethernet Converaged Network Adapter x710 2 addressed the demanding need of an agile data center by providing unmatched features for both server and virtualization, flexibility for LAN or SAN networks and proven, reliable performance.

This device also support SR-IOV virtualization technology, it can be virtualized up to 128 VFs, each VF can support a unique and seperate date path for I/O related functions within the PCI Express hierarchy.

Using SR-IOV with the networking device, for example, allow the bandwidth of a single port(function) to be partitioned into smaller slices that can be allocated to specific VMs or guest, via a standard interface.

One of the key features of x710 Network Adapter is Dynamic Device Personalizaiton(DDP) 3.

DDP allows dynamic reconfiguration of the packet processing pipeline to meet specific use case needs on demand, adding new packet processing pipeline configuration profiles to a network adapter at run time, without resetting or rebooting the server. Software applies these custom profiles in a nonpermanent, transaction-like mode, so the original network controller’s configuration is restored after network adapter reset, or by rolling back profile changes by software. The DPDK provides all APIs to handle DDP packages.

Use Cases

  • As an operator, I want to use Cyborg to manage lifycycle of Intel X710. Cyborg side driver should be able to manage this kind of acceleration resources including discover it, report it to Placement and program it.

  • As an end user, I want to boot up a VM with Intel X710 to acclerate network related workloas, Cyborg should be able to interact with Nova to assign it the VM.

  • As an advanced end user, I want to customize a profile to load on Intel X710 when booting up a VM with it, Cyborg driver should be able to provide such program interface.

Proposed change

In general, the goal is to develop a Cyborg Intel® x710 driver that supports discover() and program() interfaces.


The driver should include discover functions which will be called by agent periodically, and encapsule the device information to Cyborg’s unified data model, such as Device, Deployale, AttachHandle and so on.

Besides, we should also implement a configuration file to let Cyborg driver to discover the loaded DDP profile on X710, as well as the physnet name associated with this nic and then Cyborg can report these as the attributes.

An example of the configuration file is:

function_name=GTPv1 # The name of the DDP profile


The driver should implement a program() function which allow Cyborg API to call to load a specific profile on the nic, this is a part-implementation of the third use case mentioned above.

To implement this functinality, Nova needs to parse user’s request and get the profile’s name, and Cyborg should get this profile’s info from Nova and let this driver to load profile to the selected device.

Briefly, this function need to call some utility like (DPDK API or ethtool) to program the nic. For the first phase, we will work on the pre-programmed scenario. Another spec will be introduced to show the total design of dynamic programming functionality of this driver in the future.



Data model impact

One physical X710 card has 2 PFs, and each of them can be virtualized into several VFs. The maximum number of the VFs are different according to different models.

Here, we take an example of 4 VFs in each PFs.

The data model in Cyborg should like this:

|                                                   |
|      device A                    device B         |
|   +------------------+     +------------------+   |
|   | deployable 1-4   |     | deployables 5-8  |   |
|   | +----+ +----+    |     | +----+  +----+   |   |
|   | | vf | | vf |    |     | | vf |  | vf |   |   |
|   | +----+ +----+    |     | +----+  +----+   |   |
|   | +----+ +----+    |     | +----+  +----+   |   |
|   | | vf | | vf |    |     | | vf |  | vf |   |   |
|   | +----+ +----+    |     | +----+  +----+   |   |
|   +------------------+     +------------------+   |
| X710                                              |

The resource provider tree’s structure should be reported as:

                     |              |
                     | compute node |
                     |              |
      |                |                             |
      v                v                             v
+-----+-----+     +----+-------+                 +---+--------+
|           |     |            |                 |            |
|deployable1|     |deployable 2|   ...           |deployable 8|
+-----------+     +------------+                 +------------+

REST API impact


Security impact


Notifications impact


Other end user impact


Performance Impact


Developer impact

Deployer need to install DPDK toolkit to configure the DDP feature.



Primary assignee:

Xinran Wang(




  • Unit tests will be added to test this driver.

  • Add test result in Cyborg Wiki which is required by the Cyborg comunity.

Documentation Impact

Need add or update related documentations.



Release Name