Networking

EtherProxy: Scaling Ethernet by Suppressing Broadcast Traffic

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Executive Summary

Ethernet is the dominant technology for local area networks. This is mainly because of its autoconfiguration capability and its cost effectiveness. Unfortunately, a single Ethernet network cannot scale to span a large enterprise network. A main reason for this is broadcast traffic resulting from many protocols running on top of Ethernet. This paper addresses Ethernet's scalability limits due to broadcast traffic. The paper studied and characterized broadcast traffic in Ethernet networks using traces collected from real networks. The paper found that broadcast is mainly used in Ethernet for service and resource discovery. For example, the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) uses broadcast to discover a MAC address that corresponds to an IP address.

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