Saturday, January 14, 2012

Solaris IPMP (IP Network Multipathing)

The IP network multipathing or IPMP is a facility provided by Solaris to provide fault-tolerance and load spreading for network interface cards (NICs). With IPMP, two or more NICs are dedicated for each network to which the host connects. Each interface is assigned a static "test" IP address, which is used to assess the operational state of the interface. Each virtual IP address is assigned to an interface, though there may be more interfaces than virtual IP addresses, some of the interfaces being purely for standby purposes. When the failure of an interface is detected its virtual IP addresses are swapped to an operational interface in the group.
The IPMP load spreading feature increases the machine's bandwidth by spreading the outbound load between all the cards in the same IPMP group.
in.mpathd is the daemon in the Solaris OS responsible for IPMP functionality.
Purpose of IP network Multipathing:

In a highly available server configuration it is important to eliminate any single point of failure. IPMP, or IP Multipathing, provides a mechanism for building redundant network interfaces to guard against failures with NIC’s,cables, switches or other networking hardware. It also provides a method to do maintenance on system hardware without losing network connectivity in environments that make use of the DR features in high end Sun server. This document explains the concepts of IPMP and provides a commonly used configuration. For more information on IPMP please visit the following URL.

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