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LAYER TWO DISTRIBUTION AND LOAD BALANCING TECHNIQUES

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249380D
Publication Date: 2017-Feb-22
Document File: 9 page(s) / 326K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present disclosure relates to a Layer 2 traffic distribution technique that a) treats individual distribution group members as unique ports within a forwarding domain and b) allows individual members of the distribution group to be associated with unique Internet Protocol (IP) sub-networks. An external controller [entity] can explicitly specify and tailor the distribution scheme, to match the [known and/or observed] network traffic demands. A method of dynamically (in real-time) determining the unique forwarding destination (i.e., link selection) of the current packet is based on any load distribution algorithm (e.g., but not limited to a round-robin mechanism), a hashing method across any combination of fields from OSI Layer 2 to Layer 7 of the packet.

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LAYER TWO DISTRIBUTION AND LOAD BALANCING TECHNIQUES

ABSTRACT

The present disclosure relates to a Layer 2 traffic distribution technique that a) treats individual distribution group members as unique ports within a forwarding domain and b) allows individual members of the distribution group to be associated with unique Internet Protocol (IP) sub-networks.  An external controller [entity] can explicitly specify and tailor the distribution scheme, to match the [known and/or observed] network traffic demands.  A method of dynamically (in real-time) determining the unique forwarding destination (i.e., link selection) of the current packet is based on any load distribution algorithm (e.g., but not limited to a round-robin mechanism), a hashing method across any combination of fields from OSI Layer 2 to Layer 7 of the packet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Again, in various exemplary embodiments, the present disclosure relates to a relates to a Layer 2 traffic distribution technique that has the following properties:

1.                  Provides traffic distribution and load balancing across multiple (e.g., > 1) bridge ports.

2.                  Allows members of the distribution group to be independent port entities.

a.       Specifically, unlike a Link Aggregation Group (LAG) (i.e., IEEE 802.1AX) the “distribution group” is not viewed as a single logical port to the forwarding domain.

3.                  Allows each member of the distribution group to be assigned a unique (and disparate) IP sub-interface and thus belong to a unique IP sub-network.

b.      Specifically, unlike a LAG (i.e., IEEE 802.1AX) the “distribution group” is not viewed as a single logical port with a single IP sub-interface.

4.                  Utilizes existing IEEE 802.1Q bridge forwarding paradigms, which have been implemented in commodity silicon.

c.       As a consequence, the traffic distribution can be provided at line rate.

d.      Provides the distribution at line rate.

5.                  Allows a [network] controller, that understands the network traffic characteristics, to specify a distribution (or load balancing) scheme that best satisfies the users [expected] networks demands.

Conventionally, from a Layer 2 perspective, the technology that provides some form of distribution (and/or load balancing) is LAG (link aggregation group), as defined in IEEE 802.1AX.  However, this technology/protocol treats the “distribution group” (i.e., link aggregation group) as a single entity from a forwarding domain perspective. As a consequence, members of the LAG cannot be associated with (i.e., configured with) diverse IP sub-networks. Additionally, the “hashing” algorithm used by the LAG is static and cannot be fine-tuned to match known and/or observed actual network traffic to achieve load balancing.

Shortcomings of this conventional approach include:

1.                  LAG (as specified by IEEE 802.1AX) treats the “distribution group” as a single entity from a forwarding domain perspective. As a consequence,

•                     It is not possible to independently forward traffic to individual port...