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Implementing 802.3ad-2000 link aggregation under Linux

To: netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Implementing 802.3ad-2000 link aggregation under Linux
From: Nick Towers <ncet@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 18:39:55 +0100
Organization: Dept. of Computing, Imperial College, UK
Sender: owner-netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx

I am looking at starting a project to implment 802.3ad ethernet link
aggregation under Linux. For those of you that have never heard of it
I've given a description and a few pointers at the end. Before I
launch into it I was wondering if there is anyone else out there who

1) Has started work on an implementation
2) Would like to help or be involved
3) Knows somewhere/one else I should be talking about this

Also, if anyone knows why this is an obvious non-starter, or thinks
theres a certain way to go about this I'd love to hear from you -
I've got time to try to have a serious go at this, and plenty of
machines/net cards/802.3ad compliant switches, but I don't have a lot
of Linux kernel hacking experience....

Some background on why an implementation would be a good thing:
802.3ad is now an approved (currently being published) IEEE
extension to the ethernet standard. It allows for aggregaion
of multiple links for resiliance and for increased bandwidth.
Ie. To the outside world it appears as a single link. Any
links can be aggregated into a logical link as long as they are
full duplex links of the same speed. The standard must be purchased
but the minutes of the meetings and other bits and pieces are available:
In order to be involved at this stage, it really requires a copy of the
spec (and the spec refers back to the 802.3-1998 spec in many places)

In many ways this can be seen as a (considerable) extension to the
bonding driver - supporting the standard as opposed to the proprietary
bonding schemes. 802.3ad is however considerably more complex if
the full specification is to be implemented due to the support of
automatic use of aggregation if possible and support for removing
and adding parts of the logical link at any time. The spec does allow
for partial implementation to not include all of the autonegotiation,
an obvious first step to aim for.

Obviously this has excellent potential for high availablity servers
as well as for provision of a progression path between 100Mbit and
Gigabit ethernet without the admin hassles of multiple interfaces.

Please let me know if you're interested...

Nick Towers : Systems developer, Dept. of Computing, Imperial College
n.towers@xxxxxxxxxxxx or mailto:ncet@xxxxxxxxxxxx for point and click
If you feel lucky visit my web site -

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