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Lync Server 2013 supports virtualization on both Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2008 R2. Support on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 includes support for the Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) capabilities. With SR-IOV, the virtual function of a physical network adapter is assigned directly to a virtual machine. This increases network throughput and reduces network latency while also reducing the host CPU overhead that is required for processing network traffic. To take advantage of SR-IOV, you must use a host server which has BIOS which supports SR-IOV, as well as use network adapters that support SR-IOV.
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SR-IOV stands for Single-Root Input/Output (I/O) Virtualization. It’s is a standard defined by the PCI Special Interest Group. If you work for one of the member companies who have access, and are after some light bedtime reading, the specs are available on their website.
To keep it at a high level (as in all you probably need to know to use the feature), SR-IOV is a standard which describes how a PCI Express device can be constructed so that it works well with modern virtualization solutions. You may be wondering, what does “work well” mean when we already have a great device I/O sharing model present in Hyper-V in both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2?
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