IOVP Program in VMware

I/O Vendor Program (IOVP) program allow I/O device vendor to collaborate with VMware to release the new driver for device aka VIB file.Most of the driver will be tested out by VMware and partner in the cyclic manner before releasing to public.

Before jump in detail to IOVP program,let go through the acceptance level in VIB package.What are acceptance level and how do they help.

Acceptance Levels
Each VIB is released with an acceptance level that cannot be changed. The host acceptance level determines which VIBs can be installed to a host. You can change the host acceptance levels with esxcli commands.

VMware supports the following acceptance levels.

VMwareCertified

The VMwareCertified acceptance level has the most stringent requirements.
VIBs with this level go through thorough testing fully equivalent to VMware
in-house Quality Assurance testing for the same technology. Today, only
IOVP drivers are published at this level. VMware takes support calls for VIBs
with this acceptance level.

VMwareAccepted VIBs with this acceptance level go through verification testing, but the tests do not fully test every function of the software. The partner runs the tests
and VMware verifies the result. Today, CIM providers and PSA plug-ins are
among the VIBs published at this level. VMware directs support calls for
VIBs with this acceptance level to the partner’s support organization.
PartnerSupported VIBs with the PartnerSupported acceptance level are published by a partner that VMware trusts. The partner performs all testing. VMware does not
verify the results. This level is used for a new or nonmainstream technology
that partners want to enable for VMware systems. Today, driver VIB
technologies such as Infiniband, ATAoE, and SSD are at this level with
nonstandard hardware drivers. VMware directs support calls for VIBs with
this acceptance level to the partner’s support organization.

CommunitySupported

The CommunitySupported acceptance level is for VIBs created by
individuals or companies outside of VMware partner programs. VIBs at this
level have not gone through any VMware-approved testing program and are
not supported by VMware Technical Support or by a VMware partner.

Devices covered by this program are: 1GigE and 10GigE NICs, 4Gb, 8Gb Fibre Channel HBAs, 16Gb Fibre Channel HBAs, iSCSI HBA, FCoE CNAs, LocalStorage, NVMe and SAS HBAs.

IOVP Process Outline

Step 1. Inception
  • The vendor negotiates a partnership agreement with VMware through the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) Program: times vary depending on contract negotiations. Ongoing membership in TAP is a requirement of this program.
  • The partner is provided access to the relevant materials, development kits and certification kits via this site.
Step 2. Development
  • The materials for developing ESXi Server-compatible drivers for the 6.0 release are accessed via either the VMKLinux DDK 6.0 project or the VMK API DDK 6.0 project.
  • The partner either develops or updates the driver as necessary: times vary depending on the complexity of the driver and availability of an existing Linux driver to port.
  • VMware offers technical consulting and assistance for an additional fee. For more information on Development Consulting please contact the IOVP Program Manager.
Step 3. Driver/Device Certification Test
  • The partner downloads the relevant Certification Kits and Tools
  • The partner runs the Functional Verification Tests for driver/device certification: 3-10 days per cycle.
  • If a test fails and the failure requires a driver change, the partner fixes the driver and submits a new drop to the project SVN repository, repeat from beginning of Step 3. Note VMware re-verifies the new source and binary.
  • If VMware makes any critical changes or additions to tests during the partner’s certification test period, VMware will request the partner to run the new tests.
  • VMware offers technical consulting and assistance. Certification support can be purchased from the VMware Store and accessed via My VMware
Step 4. Certification Test Verification
  • When a driver and device pass all the Functional Verification tests, the partner submits the results and files a Support Request (SR), both via Work Bench, for VMware to review. IOVP Certification Log Submission entitlements can be purchased from the VMware Store and accessed via My VMware
  • VMware verifies test results, informs partner of results: 7-10 days per cycle
  • If any results are unclear or incomplete, VMware may request additional information or test reruns. If a test failure results in a driver change and rebuild, repeat from beginning of Step 3
  • VMware signs the driver and delivers the signed driver to the partner through the SR. approximately 3-4 days
Step 5. Release
  • The information provided with the certification submission is used to update the VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) with the tested and equivalent and compatible devices.
  • VMware publishes the Driver CD to the VMware Downloads Driver & Tools page: 5 days
  • VMware updates the VCG: 5 days (concurrent).
  • End-to-end certification process time line are 12-15 business days.
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