Users rely on various networking technologies to communicate, share, store, and process information. One of the primary goals of network administration is to establish and maintain reliable, secure, and efficient data communications on systems that are running the Oracle Solaris release. See Basic Network Configuration in Oracle Solaris.
Beyond the basic configuration that is required to connect systems to the network, Oracle Solaris also supports several advanced networking technologies, including features that provide support for following functional areas:
Observability, monitoring, and debugging
Performance and efficiency
Most of these features are designed to address the complexities of modernized network environments by enabling you to use a more modular and layered approach to administering the various aspects of network configuration. For more information, see Key Oracle Solaris Network Administration Features and Network Administration by Functional Area.
Basic network configuration of a system evolves in two stages: assembling the hardware and then configuring the daemons, files, and services that implement the network protocol stack. For more information about how the various networking components are configured within the network protocol stack, see Network Administration Within the Oracle Solaris Network Protocol Stack.
For an example of the information that is described in this section, see Basic Network Configuration Scenario.
The basic network configuration process typically involves the following tasks:
You first customize the physical datalinks on the system. Each datalink represents a link object in the second layer (L2) of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. In this release, generic names are automatically assigned to datalinks by using the net0, net1, netN naming convention. The name that is assigned to each datalink depends on the total number of network devices that are on that system. For more information, see Chapter 2, Administering Datalink Configuration in Oracle Solaris in Configuring and Managing Network Components in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
After you customize the datalinks on a system, you then configure IP interfaces and addresses over each datalink. This configuration takes place at the network layer (L3) of the OSI model. You obtain unique IP addresses to communicate to public networks on the Internet. See Chapter 3, Configuring and Administering IP Interfaces and Addresses in Oracle Solaris in Configuring and Managing Network Components in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Oracle Solaris supports both IPv4 and IPv6 configuration. You can choose whether to deploy a purely IPv4 network, an IPv6 network, or a network that uses a combination of both types of IP addresses. Deploying an IPv4 or IPv6 network requires some advanced planning. For more information about deploying a physical network in an organized and cost-effective manner, see Planning for Network Deployment in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Naming services and other system-wide network settings are fundamental to any computing network. These services perform lookups of stored information such as host names and addresses, user names, passwords, access permissions, and so on. The information is made available so that users can log in to their system, access resources, and be granted permissions. Naming service information is centralized in the form of files, maps, and database files to make network administration more manageable. In this release, naming services are managed through the Service Management Facility (SMF). For more information about configuring system-wide network settings on an Oracle Solaris client, see Chapter 4, Administering Naming and Directory Services on an Oracle Solaris Client in Configuring and Managing Network Components in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Network administration might also involve configuring systems that perform specific functions within your network, for example, routers, IP tunnels, and so on. For additional information, see Configuring an Oracle Solaris 11.3 System as a Router or a Load Balancer and Administering TCP/IP Networks, IPMP, and IP Tunnels in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Before beginning the task of configuring a client system on the network, see Information That Is Required to Configure Client Systems on the Network in Configuring and Managing Network Components in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Oracle Solaris supports several networking features that you can use for different purposes. The following are some of the key features that are supported in this release. This list is not exhaustive:
Aggregation – Is an L2 entity that is used to ensure that a system has continuous access to the network. Link aggregations increase the availability and reliability of network connectivity by enabling you to pool multiple datalink resources that you administer as a single unit. See Chapter 2, Configuring High Availability by Using Link Aggregations in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
The following types of aggregations are supported:
Datalink Multipathing (DLMP) – Is a type of link aggregation that supports multiple switches and provides continuous connectivity to its datalinks. When a switch fails, the aggregation continues to provide connectivity to its datalinks by using the other switches. This type of link aggregation does not require switch configuration. Using DLMP aggregation can help overcome some of the disadvantages of using trunk aggregation. See Datalink Multipathing Aggregations in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Trunk aggregation – Is a link aggregation mode that is based on the IEEE 802.3ad standard and works by enabling multiple flows of traffic to be spread across a set of aggregated ports. IEEE 802.3ad requires switch configuration and switch-vendor proprietary extensions in order to work across multiple switches. See Trunk Aggregations in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Bridging – Is an L2 technology that connects multiple datalinks on a network into a single network. For bridging, Oracle Solaris supports the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) protocols. See Chapter 5, Administering Bridging Features in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Edge Virtual Bridging (EVB) – Is an L2 technology that enables hosts to exchange virtual link information with an external switch. EVB offloads the enforcement of traffic service level agreements (SLAs) to the switch. See Chapter 4, Administering Server-Network Edge Virtualization by Using Edge Virtual Bridging in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Data Center Bridging (DCB) – Is an L2 technology that is used to manage the bandwidth, relative priority, and flow control of multiple traffic types that share the same network link, for example, when sharing a datalink between networking and storage protocols. See Chapter 7, Managing Converged Networks by Using Data Center Bridging in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Elastic Virtual Switch (EVS) – Is an L2 technology that expands network virtualization capabilities by enabling you to manage virtual switches across multiple hosts. With the Oracle Solaris EVS feature, you can deploy virtual networks that span multiple hosts within either a multi-tenant cloud environment or a large deployment. See Chapter 6, Administering Elastic Virtual Switches in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Etherstub – Is a pseudo Ethernet NIC that is configured at the datalink layer (L2) of the Oracle Solaris network protocol stack. You can create virtual interface cards (VNICs) over etherstubs instead of physical links for the purpose of constructing a private virtual network that is isolated from other virtual networks on the system, as well as from the external network. See How to Configure VNICs and Etherstubs in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Flows – Are a subset of packets that are identified by common attributes. These attributes consist of packet header information such as IP addresses, protocol type, and transport port numbers. You can observe flows individually, as well as assign flows their own SLAs, for example, bandwidth control and priority. You administer flows at the L2, L3, and L4 layers of the Oracle Solaris network protocol stack. For more information, see Features for Managing Network Resources in Oracle Solaris.
Integrated Load Balancer (ILB) – Is an L3 and L4 technology that enables a system to spread the load of network processing amongst available resources. ILB can be used to improve reliability and scalability and to minimize the response time of network services. Load balancing involves using multiple systems to deal with high demands of a network by balancing the load between multiple systems. Support for ILB in Oracle Solaris includes stateless Direct Server Return (DSR) and Network Address Translation (NAT) modes of operation for IPv4 and IPv6, as well as server monitoring capabilities through health checks. See Features of ILB in Configuring an Oracle Solaris 11.3 System as a Router or a Load Balancer.
IP network multipathing (IPMP) – Is an L3 technology that ensures that a system has continuous access to the network. With IPMP, you configure multiple IP interfaces into an IPMP group. The IPMP group functions like an IP interface with data addresses for sending or receiving network traffic. If an underlying interface in the group fails, the data addresses are redistributed amongst the remaining underlying active interfaces in the group.
The IPMP model and administrative interface has undergone some changes in Oracle Solaris 11. To familiarize yourself with the new model, see What’s New in IPMP in Administering TCP/IP Networks, IPMP, and IP Tunnels in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Link aggregations work similarly to IPMP for improving network performance and availability, but at the datalink layer (L2). Aggregations are recommended when combining features for high availability in a virtualized environment. For a comparative analysis, see Appendix A, Link Aggregations and IPMP: Feature Comparison, in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
IP tunnel – Is an L3 technology that provides a means for transporting data packets between domains when the protocol in those domains is not supported by intermediary networks. See Chapter 4, About IP Tunnel Administration in Administering TCP/IP Networks, IPMP, and IP Tunnels in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) – Is an L2 technology that is used by systems in a local area network (LAN) to exchange configuration and management information with each other. LLDP enables a system to advertise connectivity and management information to other systems on the network. See Chapter 6, Exchanging Network Connectivity Information With Link Layer Discovery Protocol in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Virtual local area network (VLAN) – Is an L2 technology that enables you to divide a LAN into subnetworks without having to add a physical network environment. A VLAN is a subdivision of a LAN at the datalink layer of the network protocol stack. For more information, see Chapter 3, Configuring Virtual Networks by Using Virtual Local Area Networks in Managing Network Datalinks in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Virtual eXtensible area network (VXLAN) – Is an L2 and L3 technology that works by overlaying a datalink (L2) network on top of an IP (L3) network. VXLANs address the 4K limitation that is imposed when using VLANs. Typically, VXLANs are used in a cloud infrastructure to isolate multiple virtual networks. You can manage VXLANs by using the EVS feature. For more information, see Chapter 3, Configuring Virtual Networks by Using Virtual Extensible Local Area Networks in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Virtual network interface card (VNIC) – Is an L2 entity or virtual network device that behaves just like a physical NIC when configured. You configure a VNIC over an underlying datalink to share it among multiple Oracle Solaris zones or VMs. See Configuring the Components of a Virtual Network in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
In this release, you can also manage network devices that support single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV). For more details, see Using Single Root I/O Virtualization With VNICs in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.
Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) – Is an L3 technology that provides high availability of IP addresses, such as those that are used for routers and load balancers. Oracle Solaris supports both L2 and L3 VRRP. L3 VRRP removes the need to configure unique VRRP virtual MAC addresses for VRRP routers, thereby providing better support for VRRP over IPMP, InfiniBand interfaces, and zones. For more information, see Chapter 3, Using Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol in Configuring an Oracle Solaris 11.3 System as a Router or a Load Balancer.
Virtual switch – Is an L2 technology that simulates the capabilities of a physical network switch. A virtual switch is implicitly created whenever you create a VNIC on top of an underlying datalink. Virtual switches provide a method for virtual machines and zones to transfer packets. You can manage virtual switches by using the EVS feature. For more information, see Network Virtualization Components in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Oracle Solaris 11.3.