SUMMARY : IP Multi-pathing without IRDP (was : SUMMARY Dual Ether net fail-over?)

From: Richard Zoch <>
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 14:34:28 EDT
Thanks to all that responded.

Yes, it is possible to deploy Multi-pathing without running a rdisc client
IRDP.  Sun's most recent IP Network Multipathing Administration Guide
(04/2001) can be found at

On a slightly related tangent, if you're interested in doing something
similar with Linux, check out this mini-howto on bonding:  I've
tested this out and it works *very* nicely.


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Zoch []
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 2:38 PM
To: Sun Managers List (E-mail)
Subject: IP Multi-pathing without IRDP (was : SUMMARY Dual Ethernet
fail-o ver?)

Thank you for the summary. is an excellent
resource for Solaris IP Multi-pathing, but we noticed that Solaris requires
a rdisc client to detect changes in routing.  

Since we are using HSRP on our next hop, these advertisements are not
necessary -- the physical next hop may change, but the MAC/IP will be the

Is it possible to deploy Multi-pathing without running a rdisc client for

If you're curious about IRDP, check out


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Fenwick []
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 2:14 PM
Subject: SUMMARY Dual Ethernet fail-over?

My apologies for this long-overdue summary, and thanks to the two folks who
me if I'd gotten any responses and nudged me into posting this.

Original question:

> We're in the midst of putting together a proposal, and the client wants
> much everything on the machines to be redundant, including at least two
> connections to the 10/100Base-T network for each machine.  The hope with
> type of setup is that if one NIC should fail for some reason, they could
> simply use the other one and not have to lose the connection and take the
> machine down immediately to replace the card.
> All well and good, but my question is, is it possible to set this kind of
> redundancy up so that if one card does fail, the other can be used without
> outside interference, i.e. switching the host name the particular machine
> referred by?  Or is this automatically done anyway?  I remember putting a
> second NIC into a Sun server a few years ago (a 3000, maybe?) but I don't
> recall being able to set it up so that the second card would "take over"
> automatically if the first one failed.  I've been trying to find some
> of this kind of thing in the documents at with no luck.
> Again, I apologize if this is a dumb question.  I haven't been able to
> the archives for a couple days for some reason.  TIA and IWS.

Thanks to the following for their responses:

William Yodlowsky <>
Toby Rider <>
Doug Otto <>
Mike Salehi <>
Jeff Woolsey <>
Mike White <>
Patrik Malinen <>
John Malick <>
Ryan Madison <>
William Hathaway <>
Christophe Dupre <>
Daniel Feenberg <>
Seth Rothenberg <>
Ivan Kovalev <>
Darren Dunham <>
Blake Matheny <>
David Byers <>
Changa Anderson <>
Michael Hill <>
Marc Alvidrez <>
Josh McCormick <>
Robert Alexander <>
Michael Cunningham <>
Chad Rytting <>
Gary Jenson <>
Marco Greene <>

The responses generally fell into three categories:

1.  If you're using Solaris 8 MU3 (10/00) or later, IP multi-pathing is
built-in.  A PDF document is available at and does a good job
explaining it.

2.  If you're using an earlier version of Solaris, you can use Sun Trunking
an appropriate switch to "combine" up to four interfaces into one virtual
interface.  Sun Trunking is intended to increase bandwidth, but if an
fails, the other(s) will automatically pick up the slack (bandwidth will, of
course, be slower then).  There's more on Sun Trunking available at
ng .

3.  You can write a script that pings the first interface and, if there's no
response, configures the second one.

I expect we'll be going with the first option.

Bill Fenwick                            Email:
Digicomp Research                       Voice:  (607) 273-5900 ext 32

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Received on Mon May 14 19:34:28 2001

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