System Administration Guide: IP Services

Internet Layer

This layer, also known as the network layer, accepts and delivers packets for the network. This layer includes the powerful Internet Protocol (IP), the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), and the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP).

IP Protocol

The IP protocol and its associated routing protocols are possibly the most significant of the entire TCP/IP suite. IP is responsible for the following:

Previous releases of the Solaris operating environment implement version 4 of the Internet Protocol, which is abbreviated as IPv4. However, because of the rapid growth of the Internet, a new Internet Protocol was created. The new protocol increases address space. This new version, known as version 6, is abbreviated as IPv6. The Solaris operating environment supports both versions, which are described in this book. To avoid confusion when addressing the Internet Protocol, one of the following conventions is used:

ARP Protocol

The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) conceptually exists between the data-link and Internet layers. ARP assists IP in directing datagrams to the appropriate receiving host by mapping Ethernet addresses (48 bits long) to known IP addresses (32 bits long).

ICMP Protocol

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) detects and reports network error conditions. ICMP reports on the following:

The ping Command contains more information on the operating system commands that use ICMP for error detection.