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Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle® Solaris 11.3

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Updated: December 2017

Features and Components That Are Used to Manage Network Datalinks

Managing network datalinks refers to the use of features and technologies to fine tune the way your systems process the network traffic. Systems that are configured with these technologies can manage network traffic better, which contributes to the improvement of the network's total performance. Although these features address different areas of network operations, they provide common benefits such as network connectivity, network administration, and efficiency.

Note -  For a description of the example IP addresses used in this guide, see the IP address entry in Glossary of Networking Terms.

You use the dladm command to manage network datalinks by using the features such as link aggregation, virtual local area networks, and bridged networks. In addition to managing datalinks, you can use the dladm command to manage capture links. The Firewall uses capture links to log packets that match the rule with the log action. Packets intercepted by a capture link can be read by any libpcap tool such as tcpdump or wireshark. For more information, see Securing the Network in Oracle Solaris 11.3.

Link Aggregations

Link aggregations enable you to pool multiple datalink resources that you administer as a single unit. You can improve the bandwidth and provide high availability for applications by combining multiple physical NICs together. Link aggregation of network datalinks ensures that a system has continuous access to the network. Trunk aggregation and DLMP aggregation are the two types of link aggregation.

Trunk aggregation provides consolidated bandwidth of the underlying datalinks for the clients configured over the aggregation. DLMP aggregation provides high availability across multiple switches for the clients configured over the aggregation. DLMP aggregation also supports link-based failure detection and probe-based failure detection to ensure continuous availability of the network to send and receive traffic. For more information about different types of link aggregation and procedures for configuring and administering link aggregations, see Configuring High Availability by Using Link Aggregations.

Virtual Local Area Networks

Virtual local area networks (VLANs) enable you to divide your network into subnetworks without having to add resources to the physical network environment. Therefore, the subnetworks are virtual and you use the same physical network resources. VLANs provide applications with isolated subnetworks so that only the applications in the same VLAN can communicate with each other. You can configure multiple virtual networks within a single network unit, for example, a switch by combining VLANs and Oracle Solaris zones. For more information about configuring and administering VLANs, see Configuring Virtual Networks by Using Virtual Local Area Networks.

Private Virtual Local Area Networks

The private virtual local area networks (PVLANs) standard defined in RFC 5517 enables you to divide a regular VLAN (primary) into sub-VLANs (secondary). A regular VLAN is a single broadcast domain. PVLAN partitions one broadcast domain into multiple subdomains. For more information about configuring and administering PVLANs, see Configuring Private Virtual Local Area Networks.

Bridged Networks

Bridges connect separate network segments, which are paths between two nodes. When connected by a bridge, the attached network segments communicate as if they were a single network segment. Bridges use a packet-forwarding mechanism to connect subnetworks together and enable a system to transmit packets to their destinations by using the shortest connection routes. For more information about bridged networks and procedures to administer bridges, see Administering Bridging Features.

Link Layer Discovery Protocol

Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) enables exchanging of connectivity and management information between the systems on the network for the purpose of topology discovery. The information can include system capabilities, management addresses, and other information relevant to network operations. The network diagnostics service uses LLDP to detect problems that might lead to limited or degraded network connectivity. For more information about LLDP and procedures to configure LLDP, see Exchanging Network Connectivity Information With Link Layer Discovery Protocol.

Data Center Bridging

Data center bridging (DCB) is used to manage the bandwidth, relative priority, and flow control of multiple traffic types when sharing the same network link, for example, when sharing a datalink between networking and storage protocols. DCB enables information exchange with the peers about the features that support converged network by using LLDP. The information is related to the configurations affecting the integrity of network packets especially in heavy traffic environments, such as data centers. DCB enables efficient network infrastructure by consolidating storage area network (SAN) and local area network (LAN) and thereby reducing operational and management costs in large deployments.

You can configure DCB features such as priority-based flow control (PFC) for the prevention of packet loss and enhanced transmission selection (ETS) for bandwidth sharing among packets based on class of service (CoS) priorities. For more information, see Managing Converged Networks by Using Data Center Bridging.