In Oracle Solaris, IP network multipathing (IPMP) ensures continuous network availability by grouping multiple interfaces on the same IP link. These underlying interfaces back up one another such that the network remains available if one of the underlying interfaces fail. IPMP also provides load spreading of packets for systems with multiple interfaces.
IPMP is implemented in Oracle Solaris in the following manner:
Multiple interfaces such as net0, net1, and net2 are configured to form an IPMP interface ipmp0.
The IPMP interface ipmp0 is configured with multiple IP addresses called data addresses. These addresses are used to host network traffic.
IP addresses can also be configured directly on the underlying interfaces netN. These addresses are not used for network traffic but for failure detection to determine whether an underlying interface has failed. Thus, these IP addresses on the underlying interfaces are called test addresses.
Because the data addresses reside on ipmp0, the network remains available even if one underlying IP interface fails. Traffic continues to flow through the other addresses in ipmp0.
As with all network configuration tasks, you configure IPMP on the global zone. Then, you extend the functionality to non-global zones. The functionality is extended by assigning one of the IPMP interface's data address to the zone.
In a given non-global zone, only the interfaces associated with the zone are visible through the ipadm command.
See How to Extend IP Network Multipathing Functionality to Shared-IP Non-Global Zones. The zones configuration procedure is covered in How to Configure the Zone. For information on IPMP features, components, and usage, see Chapter 2, About IPMP Administration, in Administering TCP/IP Networks, IPMP, and IP Tunnels in Oracle Solaris 11.2 .