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The network configuration features let you create a variety of advanced networking setups out of your physical network ports, including link aggregations, virtual NICs (VNICs), virtual LANs (VLANs), and multipathing groups. You can then define any number of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses for these abstractions, for use in connecting to the various data services on the system.
There are four components to a system's network configuration:
Devices - Physical network ports which correspond to your physical network connections or IP on InfiniBand (IPoIB) partitions.
Datalinks - The basic construct for sending and receiving packets. Datalinks may correspond 1:1 with a device (that is, with a physical network port) or IB Partition, or you can define Aggregation, VLAN and VNIC datalinks composed of other devices and datalinks.
Interface - The basic construct for IP configuration and addressing. Each IP interface is associated with a single datalink, or is defined as an IP MultiPathing (IPMP) group which is comprised of other interfaces.
Routing - IP routing configuration, which controls how the system directs IP packets.
In this model, network devices represent the available hardware - they have no configurable settings. Datalinks are a layer 2 entity, and must be created to apply settings such as LACP to these network devices. Interfaces are a layer 3 entity containing the IP settings, which they make available via a datalink. This model has separated network interface settings into two parts - datalinks for layer 2 settings, and interfaces for layer 3 settings.