SUMMARY: nic failover

From: nicole sue <>
Date: Thu Jul 25 2002 - 23:07:11 EDT
Thanks to the following people for their quick and
helpful response. This is sufficient info for me to
proceed with the IP multipathing. Once again, Thanks -
this list is great!!!

Giovanni Navarrette
Doug Otto
Kevin Buterbaugh
Rasmussen Thorfinn
Darren Dunham
Dirk Bonning
Muralidharan P
Wanke Matthias

nic failover for Solaris 8 is also supported. Useful
reference and information were given as follow

1) IP Network Multipathing in Solaris 8 (forwarded by
Giovanni Navarrette)

2)Excerp newsletter forwarded by Doug Otto

Vol 3.1         TechTips - A publication of Govstor,
LLC.       03/2002

                    Systems, Storage and Networking
                       Solutions for Government.
                           1319 20th Street
                        Sacramento, CA  95814
                   Network Failover with Solaris 8

For this article I'm going to continue my theme of
introducing features
in Solaris 8 that you might not be aware of.  Included
with the 10/00
release of Solaris 8, (MU2 for those of you who've
been paying
attention), are some handy configuration options to
the ifconfig command
collectively known as IP Multipathing.

Along with the new configuration options comes a new
daemon called
in.mpathd.  The application lives in /sbin, right
where you'd expect it
to be, and starts automatically unless the
configuration file
/etc/default/mpathd has been removed.

As with most things UNIX, there are a numbers of
configuration options
available.  To avoid confusion, I'm only going to
explain a simple
failover scenario using only two NICs for the purpose
of this article.

To behave predictably, each NIC in your failover group
needs to have a
unique MAC address.  In most cases this can be
accomplished by setting
local-mac-address?=true from the OBP or via the eeprom
command; either
way a reboot is in order.

If your failover NIC does not have a local MAC address
like the older
Lance Ethernet adapters (le) you will have to give it
one in a startup
script (ifconfig le0 ether xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx).  MAC
addresses need to be
unique on your network so check your ARP table (arp
-a) before
arbitrarily assigning a new address.

To start configuring my system we need to make some
host file additions.
Each NIC that we want to failover requires a test
address to be
associated with it.  We also need to assign a valid IP
to the "backup"
NIC:       localhost loghost     wizard                  # Primary
Interface     wizard-test             # Test address
for IPMP     wizard-hme1             # Failover for

The next step is to create the appropriate
/etc/hostname.* files for
each interface.  On my test system these files are
and /etc/hostname.hme1.

In the first file we assign the primary interface to a
group called
"ipmp" and bring it up with the failover option set. 
We also add hme0:1
with the addif option, tell the operating system not
to use it for
applications or failover and bring it up.

wizard group ipmp failover up addif wizard-test
deprecated -failover up

The next task is to configure the hme1 interface to
take over in the
event of a failure on hme0.   The command adds the
interface to the
"ipmp" group, assigns a MAC address, tells the
operating system not to
use it for applications, not to fail it over when an
error is detected
and to use it as a standby.

wizard-hme1 group ipmp deprecated -failover standby up

After a system boot, the output of ifconfig -a looks
roughly like the

mtu 8232 index 1
        inet netmask ff000000
1500 index
        inet netmask ffffff00 broadcast
        groupname ipmp

mtu 1500 index 2
        inet netmask ffffff00 broadcast

,STANDBY,INACTIVE> mtu 1500 index 3
        inet netmask ffffff00 broadcast
        groupname ipmp

For a basic two NIC failover group, that's all there
is to it!  Within
10 seconds of a detected failure on hme0, hme1 will
take over.
Switch-over time can be adjusted but the smaller the
number the more
"test" traffic on your network.

As always, for more detailed information refer to your
system man pages
and the resources available to you on 

Original Question:

Hi List,
> Pardon me for this question as Im a newbie on this
> platform. I heard that nic failover is one 
> of the features of Solaris 9. But Im not sure
> if this is also a feature in Solaris 8. Appreciate
> someone could clarify this.....
> Thanks in advance,
> Nicole
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Received on Thu Jul 25 23:19:02 2002

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