Patent Issued for Duplicate Internet Protocol Address Resolution in a Fragmented Switch Stack Environment
2012 JUL 18 (VerticalNews) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Telecommunications Weekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Bennah, Albert D. (Durham, NC); Edmonds, William M. (Durham, NC); Fadale, Tushar D. (Raleigh, NC); Kuroda, Akihiko (Cary, NC); Sanaei, Bahram S. (Raleigh, NC); Williamson, Nicholas M. (Cary, NC), filed on November 27, 2007, was cleared and issued on July 3, 2012.
The assignee for this patent, patent number 8213297, is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention generally relates to the management of a system of stackable switches in a data communication network, and more particularly to Internet Protocol (IP) address resolution during fragmentation of a system of stackable switches.
"Network switch stacking technology allows the aggregation of several similar network switching devices for the purpose of creating a single larger (higher throughput) logical switch device called a stack. Once in a stack configuration, switch stack addressing logic typically is applied to determine which device will become the 'master' of the stack with the other remaining devices becoming 'members' of the switch stack. The system of stack switches is generally, for example, identified with one Internet Protocol (IP) address and one stack address. This makes the system of stackable switches appear as one logical unit, particularly, to external devices communicating with the system. By applying switch stack addressing logic, the switch members will 'lose' their pre-assigned IP addresses and assume the IP address of the stack master.
"The system of stackable switches is generally coupled in series and the topology of the system generally characterized by a closed loop called a ring or an open strand of switches referred to herein as a chain. Each of the stackable switches is adapted to perform switching between its own data ports as well as the data ports of other stackable switches by transmitting packets via the stack ports, that facilitate the efficient transmission and switching of these packets to the appropriate stack switch port.
"In conventional network switch stacking systems, a problem arises whenever the switch stack becomes fragmented, e.g., as caused by a pulled connection cable, resulting in two or more fragmented stacks, where each of the two or more fragmented stacks will have the IP address of the original stack master. Such IP address duplication is prohibited and the conventional way to resolve such IP address duplication as a result of a fragmented stack is for a network or system administrator to manually reset the IP addresses."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of the present invention address deficiencies of the art in respect to network switch stacking technology and provide a novel and non-obvious method, system and computer program product for an Internet protocol (IP) address resolution process during an original switch stack fragmentation over a secondary communication link. In one embodiment of the invention, a method for IP address resolution of a fragmented switch stack over a secondary communication link (e.g., an I2C bus) is provided. The method can include detecting a first switch stack fragment by a first stack master, detecting a second switch stack fragment by a second stack master, disabling all switches of the first switch stack fragment and the second switch stack fragment, connecting the first stack master and the second stack master to a stack management module via a secondary communication link, and electing one stack fragment to use the IP address of the original switch stack based on at least one election criteria. The method can further include instructing the stack master of the elected one stack fragment to power up the switches of the elected one stack fragment.
"In another embodiment of the invention, a switch stack management device configured for Internet protocol (IP) address control of a fragmented switch stack is provided. The device can include a secondary communication link in communication with a service processor and coupled to a plurality of stackable switches. The system also can include IP address processor logic. The logic can include program code enabled to detect a first switch stack fragment by a first stack master via the secondary communication link, to detect a second switch stack fragment by a second stack master via the secondary communication link; to disable all switches of the first switch stack fragment and the second switch stack fragment; and to elect one stack fragment to use the IP address of the original switch stack based on at least one election criteria.
"Additional aspects of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The aspects of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed."
For more information, see this patent: Bennah, Albert D.; Edmonds, William M.; Fadale, Tushar D.; Kuroda, Akihiko; Sanaei, Bahram S.; Williamson, Nicholas M.. Duplicate Internet Protocol Address Resolution in a Fragmented Switch Stack Environment. U.S. Patent Number 8213297, filed November 27, 2007, and issued July 3, 2012. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=41&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2041&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20120703.PD.&OS=ISD/20120703&RS=ISD/20120703
Keywords for this news article include: Networks, Technology, World Wide Web, Internet Protocols, International Business Machines Corporation.
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