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I have an ESXi 5.5 host with the older S1200BTL motherboard and a v1 Xeon E3. The integrated NIC that ESXi has drivers for is the 82574L but I have a couple i350-T2 cards installed in slots.
I just had a look in the vSphere Web Client and it is showing SR-IOV Status as being Disabled for each i350 based vmnic where the 82574L is showing as “Not supported” so it looks optimistic.
It allowed me to enable SR-IOV but I didn’t click OK to confirm the change as it wasn’t a good time for me to reboot the host.
I would tend to agree unless someone wiser than us says to the contrary.
I just checked a similarly configured ESXi 5.1 host with an I350-T4 and it is showing as not supported but it is currently running igb driver version 184.108.40.206 whereas the 5.5 host is running 220.127.116.11 so likely just a driver issue.
I'll try to get the driver on the 5.1 host upgraded over the next few days and see if the status changes to disabled.
I am now curious to try out SR-IOV myself so will test it this weekend and post back.