In virtualization, single root input/output virtualization or SR-IOV is a specification that allows the isolation of the PCI Express resources for manageability and performance reasons. A single physical PCI Express can be shared on a virtual environment using the SR-IOV specification. The SR-IOV offers different virtual functions to different virtual components (e.g. network adapter) on a physical server machine.
The SR-IOV allows different virtual machines (VMs) in a virtual environment to share a single PCI Express hardware interface. In contrast, MR-IOV allows I/O PCI Express to share resources among different VMs on different physical machines.
A major field of application for SR-IOV is within the high-performance computing (HPC) field. The use of high-performance InfiniBand networking cards is growing within the HPC sector, and there is early research into the use of SR-IOV to allow for the use of InfiniBand within virtual machines such as Xen.