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DHC Load Balancing Algorithm (RFC3074)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005268D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-14
Document File: 10 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

B. Volz: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC3074: DOI


This document proposes a method of algorithmic load balancing. [STANDARDS-TRACK]

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 19% of the total text.

Network Working Group B. Volz Request for Comments: 3074 Ericsson Category: Standards Track S. Gonczi Network Engines, Inc. T. Lemon Internet Engines, Inc. R. Stevens Join Systems, Inc. February 2001

DHC Load Balancing Algorithm

Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.


This document proposes a method of algorithmic load balancing. It enables multiple, cooperating servers to decide which one should service a client, without exchanging any information beyond initial configuration.

The server selection is based on the servers hashing client Media Access Control (MAC) addresses when multiple Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers are available to service DHCP clients. The proposed technique provides for efficient server selection when multiple DHCP servers offer services on a network without requiring any changes to existing DHCP clients. The same method is proposed to select the target server of a forwarding agent such as a Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) relay.

1. Introduction

This protocol was originally devised to support a specific load balancing optimization of the DHCP Failover Protocol [FAILOVR]. The authors later realized that it could be used to optimize the behavior of cooperating DHCP servers and the BOOTP relay agents that forward packets to them. The proposal makes it possible to set up each

Volz, et al. Standards Track [Page 1]

RFC 3074 DHC Load Balancing Algorithm February 2001

participating server to accept a preconfigured (approximate) percentage of the client load. This is done using a deterministic hashing algorithm, that could easily be applied to other protocols having similar characteristics.

2. Terminology

This section discusses both the generic requirements terminology common to many IETF protocol specifications, and also terminology introduced by this document.

2.1. Requirements Terminology

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC 2119].

2.2. Load Balancing Terminology

This document introduces the following terms:

Service Delay, SD A load balancing parameter, allowing delayed service of a client by a server participating in the load-balancing scheme, instead of ignoring the client.

Hash Bucket Assignments, HBA A configuration directive that assigns a set of hash bucket values to a server participating in the load-balancing scheme.

Server ID, SID An identifier that can be used to designate one of the participating Servers. In the context of DHCP, the SID is the IP...