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Virtually every server in a modern datacenter depends on network connectivity in order to access resources and provide services to clients. The best practice for enhancing network connectivity is to configure multiple physical paths to the network so that if a network adapter, cable, or upstream switch fails due to equipment problems or human error, the second path continues to carry traffic. Redundant physical connections must be complemented with software that can fail over between links in the event of an error. The Oracle? Solaris operating system supports IP multipathing (IPMP). This allows a system to be configured to automatically fail over a group of IP addresses hosted on multiple interfaces while load sharing outbound traffic across all available links. The best practices for maximizing a physical server's connectivity to a physical network are well understood ? but how do these rules translate into the virtual world?
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