Address Resolution for Massive numbers of hosts in the Data center (armd)

Last modified: 2012-10-23


Operations & Management Area Directors

Operations & Management Area Advisor

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Description of Working Group:

Changing workloads in datacenters are having an impact on the performance of current datacenter network designs. For example, the use of virtual machines (VMs) as a means for deployment and management of new services often results in a significant increase in the number of hosts attached to the network. Various requirements for the deployment of VMs in data center networks, such as support for VM mobility, has led to architectures in which broadcast domains are scaling up to span more switching devices and VM servers, and to interconnect more hosts (as represented by VMs).

In these deployment architectures, heavily used protocols that are based on broadcast or multicast, such as ARP and ND, may contribute to poor network performance. The armd Working Group will investigate the impact of changing workloads and existing protocols on datacenter network performance.

In its work, the armd Working Group will take into consideration work done in data center networking standardization by other SDOs, such as the IEEE 802.1 Data Center Bridging Task Group, and will communicate and exchange information with these organizations.

Working Group objectives:

(1) Document the current practices in data center network architectures and the scaling characteristics of ARP and ND with respect to large sized layer-2 domains in data centers.

(2) Provide operational recommendations intended to minimize issues associated with these architectures and characteristics.

Area affiliation of the Working Group:

The armd Working Group is assigned to the Operations and Management area, and will maintain close collaboration with the Internet area. Because of its affiliation with Operations and Management, the armd Working Group will focus on documenting current practices and scaling characteristics, and will not do any protocol development or extension work.

If the Working Group identifies opportunities for protocol development or extensions, it will first develop requirements for that work. Any protocol development work will be conducted in the appropriate existing Working Groups if such work groups exist. If no such working groups exist, armd may recharter to address the work and may be moved to a different area.

Deliverables (Informational RFCs; list to be removed prior to posting):

  • Problem statement and review of current L2/L3 architectures
  • Report on ARP/ND statistics collection and behavior analysis in various Data Center environments
  • Recommendations on data center L2/L3 architectures and identification of opportunities for protocol development work

Goals and Milestones

May 2011 Problem statement
Nov 2011 ARP/ND statistics collection and behavior analysis in various Data Center environments (many subnets with various sizes; subnets with hosts with VMs and VMs migrate over time; subnets with some hosts on local VMs and others on VMs in the cloud (like Amazon's ECS); Large subnet).
Nov 2011 Survey of Existing Implementations
Nov 2011 Survey of Security
Mar 2012 Recommendations to avoid or minimize issues caused by ARP/ND
Mar 2012 Gap Analysis


No Request for Comments

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