Method for network interface sharing among multiple virtual machines

  • US 8,739,177 B2
  • Filed: 06/21/2010
  • Issued: 05/27/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/21/2010
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method of sharing a physical NIC device among multiple virtual machines comprising:

  • receiving, by a virtual network interface card (NIC) driver of a customer operating system (OS) running in a customer virtual machine on a computing system, a customer OS request packet for transmission by a physical NIC driver over a network coupled to the computing system, the customer OS request packet comprising OS related information and media access control frame information;

    extracting, by the virtual NIC driver of the customer OS, the media access control frame information from the customer OS request packet;

    discarding the OS related information from the customer OS request packet;

    copying the media access control frame information extracted from the customer OS request packet into a free block of shared memory of the computing system and appending the block to a transmission queue in the shared memory;

    fetching the block of shared memory from the transmission queue by a virtual NIC driver of a service OS running in a service virtual machine;

    repackaging, by the virtual NIC driver of the service OS, the extracted media access control frame information from the fetched block of shared memory to generate a new service OS request packet that is different from the customer OS request packet;

    passing the new service OS request packet to a service OS network stack component of the service OS;

    routing the new service OS request packet, by a bridge driver of the service OS network stack component, to the physical NIC driver; and

    sending, by the physical NIC driver, the new service OS request packet over the network via the physical NIC device.

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