Link aggregation is a computer networking term to describe various methods of combining (aggregating) multiple network connections in parallel to increase throughput beyond what a single connection could sustain, and to provide redundancy in case one of the links fails.
Further umbrella terms used to describe the method include port trunking,link bundling, Ethernet/network/NIC bonding, or NIC teaming. These umbrella terms not only encompass vendor-independent standards such as IEEE 802.1ax Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) for wired Ethernet, or the previous IEEE 802.3ad, but also various proprietary solutions.
Aggregation can be implemented at any of the lowest three layers of the OSI model. Commonplace examples of aggregation at layer 1 are power line (e.g. IEEE 1901) and wireless (e.g. IEEE 802.11) network devices that combine multiple frequency bands into a single wider one. OSI layer 2 (data link layer, e.g. Ethernet frame in LANs or multi-link PPP in WANs, Ethernet MAC address) aggregation typically occurs across switch ports, which can be either physical ports, or virtual ones managed by an operating system, e.g. such as those of Open vSwitch. Aggregation is also possible at layer 3 in the OSI model, i.e. at the network layer (e.g. IP or IPX), using round-robin scheduling, or based on hash values computed from fields in the packet header, or a combination of these two methods. Regardless of the layer on which aggregation occurs, the network load is balanced across all links. Most methods provide failover/redundancy as well.
Combining can either occur such that multiple interfaces share one logical address (i.e. IP) or one physical address (i.e. MAC address), or it can be done such that each interface has its own address. The former requires that both ends of a link use the same aggregation method, but has performance advantages over the latter.
Other articles related to "link aggregation, aggregation, link, links":
... Link aggregation of ports on different units in the stack ... Some stacking technologies allow for link aggregation from ports on different stacked switches either to other switches not in the stack (for example a core network) or to allow ... Not all stackable switches support link aggregation across the stack ...
... Aggregation mismatch refers to not matching the aggregation type on both ends of the link ... standard but support static configuration of link aggregation ... Therefore link aggregation between similarly statically configured switches will work, but will fail between a statically configured switch and a device that is configured for LACP ...
... Split Multi-Link Trunking (SMLT) is a Layer-2 link aggregation technology in computer networking originally developed by Nortel as an enhancement to ... Improving Communication Network Reliability Using Trunk Splitting", issued 2007-02-06 Link aggregation or MLT allows multiple physical network links between two ... that needs to be transmitted, one of the physical links is selected based on a load-balancing algorithm (usually involving a hash function operating on the source and ...
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