Optimal Routing of IP Packets
to Multi-Homed Servers

Karl L. Swartz - Stanford Linear Accelerator Center


Multi-homing, or direct attachment to multiple networks, offers both performance and availability benefits for important servers on busy networks. Exploiting these benefits to their fullest requires a modicum of routing knowledge in the clients. Careful policy control must also be reflected in the routing used within the network to make best use of specialized and often scarce resources. While relatively straightforward in theory, this problem becomes much more difficult to solve in a real network containing often intractable implementations from a variety of vendors.

This paper presents an analysis of the problem and proposes a useful solution for a typical campus network. Application of this solution at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is studied and the problems and pitfalls encountered are discussed, as are the workarounds used to make the system work in the real world.

Presented at the 6th USENIX Large Installation System Administration (LISA VI) Conference, Long Beach, 19-23 October 1992. (PDF, PS.GZ)

Also published as SLAC-PUB-5895, which contains a few last-minute corrections that didn't make it into the proceedings version. (PDF, PS.GZ)

This work supported by the United States Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC03-76SF00515.

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