There are multiple factors involved in your question. let me try to answer one at a time
is it necessary to have physical interfaces as many as virtual machines spawned in a server if each VM uses dpdk
if a process within a virtual machine is going to use dpdk for the fast path, it takes the control of physical interface
[answer] this is true for Physical NIC with Driver set to use DPDK PMD. For AF_PACKET or XDP or PCAP this is not true.
use case for which i have to spin up multiple virtual machines on the same server to implement a service chaining functionality
[Answer] this makes the question really interesting. Let me explain
a. Let say you have 10 VM and you are using 10 Physcial ports. Then you will need a switch to enable siwthcing based on MAC or VLAN.
b. Let say the NIC you are using has embedded switch, which allows Hairpin/switching model. In this case either using PF or Flow director you have setup Virtual Ethernet Bridge to achieve the same.
c. Let say on host you run simple basicfwd (example application) in chained mode. you can achieve
RX (port1) --> TX (vhost1) --> RX (vhost2) --> (TX) port2 by carefully editing the TX ports.
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