Re: [E1000-devel] [PATCH v3] ixgbe: make VLAN filter conditional

From: Alexander Duyck
Date: Thu Mar 12 2015 - 11:52:10 EST

On 03/11/2015 10:58 PM, Hiroshi Shimamoto wrote:
On 03/10/2015 05:59 PM, Hiroshi Shimamoto wrote:
From: Hiroshi Shimamoto <h-shimamoto@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Disable hardware VLAN filtering if netdev->features VLAN flag is dropped.

In SR-IOV case, there is a use case which needs to disable VLAN filter.
For example, we need to make a network function with VF in virtualized
environment. That network function may be a software switch, a router
or etc. It means that that network function will be an end point which
terminates many VLANs.

In the current implementation, VLAN filtering always be turned on and
VF can receive only 63 VLANs. It means that only 63 VLANs can be terminated
in one NIC.
Technically it is 4096 VLANs that can be terminated in one NIC, only 63
VLANs can be routed to VFs/VMDq pools though. The PF receives all VLAN
traffic that isn't routed to a specific VF, but does pass the VFTA
Right, my explanation was not accurate.
>From the hardware limitation, there are 64 entries in the shared VLAN filter.
That means that only 64 VLANs can be used per port.

Our requirement is that we want to use VLANs without limitation in VF.
Currently there is only this way, disabling VLAN filter, I could find.

The problem is that unlike multicast promiscuous option that was supported by the hardware there is nothing to limit this to any one VF. So if you enable this feature you are not only allowing that one VF to ignore the VLAN filter rules, but you are disabling them for the PF and all VFs at once.

On the other hand disabling HW VLAN filtering causes a SECURITY issue
that each VF can receive all VLAN packets. That means that a VF can see
any packet which is sent to other VF.
It is worse than that. Now you also receive all broadcast packets on
all VFs. It means that any of your systems could be buried in traffic
with a simple ping flood since it will multiply each frame by the number
of VFs you have enabled.
Is that VLAN filtering specific?
I understood that broadcast/multicast packets copied to VFs.
But I couldn't imagine the case each VF has and uses different VLAN.

VLANs are used for isolation, that is kind of the point of a VLAN. So for example if you had a multi-tenant data center you might use VLANs to separate the systems that belong to each tenant. This way it appears that they are off in their own little cloud and not affecting one another. With VLANs disabled you strip that option away and as a result you end up with each VF being able to see all of the broadcast/multicast traffic from every other VF.

Signed-off-by: Hiroshi Shimamoto <h-shimamoto@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reviewed-by: Hayato Momma <h-momma@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
CC: Choi, Sy Jong <sy.jong.choi@xxxxxxxxx>
drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_main.c | 26 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_sriov.c | 4 ++++
2 files changed, 30 insertions(+)

diff --git a/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_main.c b/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_main.c
index cd5a2c5..2f7bbb2 100644
--- a/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_main.c
+++ b/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_main.c
@@ -4079,6 +4079,10 @@ void ixgbe_set_rx_mode(struct net_device *netdev)
hw->addr_ctrl.user_set_promisc = false;

+ /* Disable hardware VLAN filter if the feature flag is dropped */
+ if (!(netdev->features & NETIF_F_HW_VLAN_CTAG_FILTER))
* Write addresses to available RAR registers, if there is not
* sufficient space to store all the addresses then enable
This is outright dangerous for end user configuration. In addition
there are other features such as FCoE and DCB that don't function if the
VLAN filtering is disabled. Have you even looked into those
Actually I didn't take care about those features.
I'll try to take care about other features in next time.

Yes, please do. I also suspect there may still be a few bugs and corner cases lurking around out there related to enabling multiple features at once.

/* Make sure RSC matches LRO, reset if change */
if (!(features & NETIF_F_LRO)) {
if (adapter->flags2 & IXGBE_FLAG2_RSC_ENABLED)
diff --git a/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_sriov.c b/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_sriov.c
index 2d98ecd..f3a315c 100644
--- a/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_sriov.c
+++ b/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/ixgbe/ixgbe_sriov.c
@@ -787,6 +787,10 @@ static int ixgbe_set_vf_vlan_msg(struct ixgbe_adapter *adapter,
u32 bits;
u8 tcs = netdev_get_num_tc(adapter->netdev);

+ /* Ignore if VLAN filter is disabled */
+ if (!(adapter->netdev->features & NETIF_F_HW_VLAN_CTAG_FILTER))
+ return 0;
if (adapter->vfinfo[vf].pf_vlan || tcs) {
"VF %d attempted to override administratively set VLAN configuration\n"
What is the point of this? You are blocking the PF from assigning a
VLAN to untagged traffic? This should at least be returning an error if
you aren't going to actually do what the end user requested.


Between this patch and your multicast ones I can only assume you must
have your network completely locked down because this just seems to open
you up to so many security holes and floods so much traffic that it
would be easy to bring your network to a grinding halt with the flags
you have added. Disabling VLANs on this hardware is not going to be an
easy thing to do. Yes you did it here, but in the process I can think
of probably a half dozen other features you have likely broken within
the NIC.

To give you an idea of the scale of what you are getting into it took me
6 months to get DCB, Flow Director, SR-IOV, FCoE and VMDq all working
together correctly in the parts supported by this driver. I suspect you
would be looking at another 6 months of implementation, testing, and bug
fixing to try to make all of these work with VLANs being able to be
toggled in and out on the fly and work reliably. Odds are in many cases
you would probably have to just shut off the features since some such as
DCB and FCoE I am fairly certain won't even work when VLAN filtering is
disabled, and then there are also all the corner cases to consider.

I am going to submit a patch to fix the original bug here, which is the
fact that NETIF_F_HW_VLAN_CTAG_FILTER can be toggled since the driver
wasn't actually checking that flag. If you still want to go down this
path of disabling VLAN filtering feel free to, but I would suggest
looking much more closely at how your changes will interact with all of
the other features of the adapter other than SR-IOV.
Now I see the complication of features in ixgbe.

Yes, if you choose to go head you are going to be seeing up quite a bit of work for yourself and likely the folks at Intel as the features can tend to get very tangled when you start working on things such as VLANs so this will likely need a good deal of testing and review.

By the way, I wonder there is no one who is worried about this VLAN limitation.


I believe that your use case if very unique. Specifically things like VLANs are supposed to be in place to allow for isolation of networks. When you tear that out you end up with all the VFs all seeing the same traffic and that can result in significant performance penalties as the VFs have to discard packets in their stack instead of at the device. It also opens you up to large security risks as now one VM has to just start sending a broadcast storm and it will take down the entire adapter since each packet would be replicated for each of the virtual functions and likely overrun the Rx FIFO.

I am fairly certain that most customers opted to either just stick to other technologies such as VMDq to avoid the broadcast/multicast replication or they are just not using VMs the same way you are. In either case I would strongly recommend reviewing your use case as I am not sure SR-IOV is the right solution for your needs since you are having to disable most of the features that make it what it is.

- Alex
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