EtherChannel, IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation, Teaming
EtherChannel, IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation, and Teaming are network port aggregation technologies that allow several Ethernet adapters to be aggregated together to form a single pseudo Ethernet device.
ent1 can be aggregated into an
EtherChannel adapter called
en3 would then be
configured with an IP address. The system considers these aggregated adapters as one adapter.
Therefore, IP is configured over them, as over any Ethernet adapter. In addition, all adapters in
the EtherChannel or Link Aggregation are given the same hardware (Mac) address, so they are treated
by remote systems as if they were one adapter. Both EtherChannel and IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation
require support in the switch so that these two technologies are aware which switch ports must be
treated as one.
In Teaming aggregation mechanism, each adapter in the channel retains its original hardware (MAC) address. Therefore, you do not need to configure any switches. EtherChannel and IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation can have both a primary and a backup channel. However, Teaming aggregation mechanism uses only one channel. If you select the Teaming mode, you cannot control how the channel sends packets. The channel automatically uses the standard mode to send packets. The Teaming mode controls which adapter in the EtherChannel receives traffic so that switch configuration is not necessary.
02:00:00:00:00:00, to the Host Ethernet Adapter (HEA) port of inactive channel of the EtherChannel configuration. This invalid MAC address is assigned when the EtherChannel is created or when the HEA ports are added to the inactive channel at run time. During the EtherChannel failover or recovery, the invalid MAC address is swapped with the valid MAC address, and the valid MAC address is swapped with the invalid MAC address at the run time.
The main benefit of EtherChannel, IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation, and Teaming is that they have the network bandwidth of all of their adapters in a single network presence. If an adapter fails, network traffic is automatically sent on the next available adapter without disruption to existing user connections. The adapter is automatically returned to service on the EtherChannel or Link Aggregation when it recovers.
There are some differences between EtherChannel, IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation, and teaming aggregation mechanism. Consider the differences listed in Table 1 to determine which technology best suits your requirement.
|EtherChannel||IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation||Teaming|
|Requires switch configuration.||Requires switch configuration for Link Aggregation Control Protocol Data Unit (LACPDU) exchange.||Does not require switch configuration.|
|Heartbeats are not exchanged between the switch port and the adjacent system port.||Heartbeats (LACPDU) are exchanged at the interval that is defined by the IEEE 802.3ad standard. Heartbeats provide extra protection in a failure.||Heartbeats are not exchanged between the switch port and the adjacent system port.|
|Both primary and backup channels can be used.||Both primary and backup channels can be used.||Only a single (primary) channel is used.|
Dynamic Adapter Membership functionality is available in the AIX® operating system. You can use this functionality to add or remove adapters from an EtherChannel without having to disrupt any user connections.