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Method for dynamic generation of Layer 2 topology for servers with multiple network interface cards Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124055D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue



Part of the datacenter automation, networking resources have to be often configured dynamically in order to satisfy the requirements of business applications. The configuration process is time-consuming and involves a considerable amount of information about network resources to be defined and maintained. This invention reduces the amount of configuration data by abstracting the Layer 2 topology at a higher level.

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Method for dynamic generation of Layer 2 topology for servers with multiple network interface cards

A technique is disclosed using a template-based representation of the layer 2 topology for a server with multiple network interface cards. Rather then associating individual configuration data to each network interface card, which would make the entire configuration process time-consuming and error-prone, the Layer 2 topology is captured at a higher level and a mechanism is implemented to dynamically discover the best association between configuration elements (templates) and physical resources (network interface cards)

The main idea of this technique is to abstract the Layer 2 configuration from the network interface level to a higher level, the server level.

Given a server with multiple network interface cards, the Layer 2 topology is captured by a set of NIC templates which are associated with the server rather then specific network interface cards. Taking a simple example of a server with 3 network cards, a typical Layer 2 topology can be represented through a collection of 3 NIC templates: <server-template>

      <nic-template vlan="100"/> <nic-template vlan="200"/> <nic-template vlan="300"/> <nic-template vlan="400"/> </server-template>

The template defines a server with 3 network interface cards, each of them connected to a switch belonging to one of the declared VLANs. The method described below dynamically determines the optimum association between a network interface card and a NIC template.

The following assumptions are made:

     1. The Layer 1 topology (physical connectivity) is defined and cannot be modified.

2. During the process no new VLANs will be created on switches .

In determining the correct Network Interface Card - Network Interface Card template association, the following backtracking algorithm shown here in pseudocode format may be used:

  while still unconfigured NICs on the server do if there is an unallocated template that matches the NIC then allocate that template else retrace steps until an unallocated template can be found endif endwhile

The main condition used in the algorithm (described by matches in the pseudocode) is translated into a network interface card matches a template if the VLAN defined in the


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template exists on the switch to which the NIC is physically connected.

The process ends when all...