When a logical domain or a device associated with an automatic MAC address is removed, that MAC address is saved in a database of recently freed MAC addresses for possible later use on that system. These MAC addresses are saved to prevent the exhaustion of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. When DHCP servers allocate IP addresses, they do so for a period of time (the lease time). The lease duration is often configured to be quite long, generally hours or days. If network devices are created and removed at a high rate without the Logical Domains Manager reusing automatically allocated MAC addresses, the number of MAC addresses allocated could soon overwhelm a typically configured DHCP server.
When a Logical Domains Manager is requested to automatically obtain a MAC address for a logical domain or network device, it first looks to the freed MAC address database to see if there is a previously assigned MAC address it can reuse. If there is a MAC address available from this database, the duplicate MAC address detection algorithm is run. If the MAC address had not been assigned to someone else since it was previously freed, it will be reused and removed from the database. If a collision is detected, the address is simply removed from the database. The Logical Domains Manager then either tries the next address in the database or if none is available, randomly picks a new MAC address.