My marketing team would be upset with me if I didn't state that it isn't a limitation, but rather a thought-out design consideration :-)
Now that that is out of the way - it is in hardware. If you need a VM to be in promiscous mode then what you will need to do is to assign a whole PF to it.
Hope that helps.
I don't know what you mean by FW, nor who Peter is . If you need to do much more than have basic Ethernet traffic to and from a VM then a VF is not going to work for you.
The VF's are very light-weight interfaces that by design do little more than pass packets, especially on 1Gb devices. Newer 10G and beyond Intel devices have been adding additional SR-IOV features for VF's, however promiscous mode is not one of them and will likely not ever be one of them for security concerns. If you need more features than are available on a VF and have a requirement to run your application in a VM then your best solution is to assign the entire PF (port) to your VM.
Sorry for writing Peter, probably it was because of the late hour.
By FW I meant firewall, I have more than one tenant on the server and each would like to run it's own firewall on a different VLAN.
Therefore I want to be able to configure the VFs to run in promiscuous mode on a given VLAN.
If a different Intel device does support this option I can change the card in my server.
If changes to driver could provide such options I'll be glad to make them but if it's hardware issue maybe future releases should take into account these applications.
No problem :-)
Did some digging and the folks that are smarter than I say that you should be able to do what you want (promiscous mode), however it is not supported in the drivers (PF and VF as they are. We also cannot provide any direct support for you modifying the drivers yourself. However, the souce for both are available on Source Forge and I wrote some docs to help folks understand how the drivers work so that they could customize them if they like.
The doc was written for a different 1Gb Intel device, however the same basic principles should apply. Try taking a look at:
Hope that provides you some useful direction.