IP Network Multipathing Administration Guide

IP Network Multipathing Components

The following table identifies and describes the components that compose IP network multipathing.

Table 1–1 IP Network Multipathing Components



IP Link 

A communication facility or medium over which nodes can communicate at the link layer. The link layer is the layer immediately following IPv4 or IPv6. Examples include Ethernets, simple or bridged, or ATM networks. One or more IPv4 subnet numbers or prefixes are assigned to an IP link. A subnet number or prefix cannot be assigned to more than one IP link. In ATM LANE, an IP link is a single emulated LAN. When using ARP, the scope of the ARP protocol is a single IP link. 

Network Interface Card (NIC) 

Network adapter that is either internal or a separate card that serves as an interface to a link. 

Physical interface 

A node's attachment to a link. This attachment is often implemented as a device driver plus a network adapter. Some network adapters can have multiple points of attachment, for example, qfe. The usage of Network adapter in this document refers to a "Single Point of Attachment."

Physical interface group 

The set of physical interfaces on a system that is connected to the same link. The set is identified by assigning the same (non-null) character string name to all the physical interfaces in the group. 

Physical interface group name 

A name that is assigned to a physical interface that identifies the group. The name is local to a system. Multiple physical interfaces, sharing the same group name, form a physical interface group. 

Failure detection 

The process of detecting when a NIC or the path from the NIC to a layer 3 device no longer works. 

Repair detection 

The process of detecting when a NIC or the path from the NIC to some layer 3 device starts operating correctly after a failure. 


The process of switching network access from a failed interface to a good physical interface. Network access includes IPv4 unicast, multicast, and broadcast traffic, as well as IPv6 unicast and multicast traffic. 


The process of switching back network access to an interface that is detected to have been repaired. 

Standby Interface 

A physical interface that is not used to carry data traffic unless some other physical interface in the group has failed.