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Date:	Thu, 30 Nov 2006 12:56:45 +0200 (IST)
From:	Or Gerlitz <>
cc:, Roland Dreier <>,
	Jay Vosburgh <>
Subject: [RFC] [PATCH V2 0/3] bonding support for operation over IPoIB 

This patch series is a second version (see below link to V1) of the suggested
changes to the bonding driver such that it would be able to support non ARPHRD_ETHER
netdevices for its High-Availability (active-backup) mode.

The motivation is to enable the bonding driver on its HA mode to work with the
IP over Infiniband (IPoIB) driver. With these patches I was able to enslave
IPoIB netdevices and run TCP, UDP, IP (UDP) Multicast and ICMP traffic with
fail-over and fail-back working fine. My working env was the net-2.6.20 git.

More over, as IPoIB is also the IB ARP provider for the RDMA CM driver which
is used by native IB ULPs whose addressing scheme is based on IP (eg iSER, SDP,
Lustre, NFSoRDMA, RDS), bonding support for IPoIB devices **enables** HA for
these ULPs. This holds as when the ULP is informed by the IB HW on the failure
of the current IB connection, it just need to reconnect, where the bonding
device will now issue the IB ARP over the active IPoIB slave.

The first patch changes some of the bond netdevice attributes and functions
to be that of the active slave for the case of the enslaved device not being
of ARPHRD_ETHER type. Basically it overrides those setting done by ether_setup(),
which are netdevice **type** dependent and hence might be not appropriate for
devices of other types. It also enforces mutual exclusion on bonding slaves
from dissimilar ether types, as was concluded over the v1 discussion.

IPoIB (see Documentation/infiniband/ipoib.txt) MAC address is made of a 3 bytes
IB QP (Queue Pair) number and 16 bytes IB port GID (Global ID) of the port this
IPoIB device is bounded to. The QP is a resource created by the IB HW and the
GID is an identifier burned into the HCA (i have omitted here some details which
are not important for the bonding RFC).

Basically the IPoIB spec and impl. do not allow for setting the MAC address of
an IPoIB device and this work was made under this assumption.

Hence, the second patch allows for enslaving netdevices which do not support
the set_mac_address() function. In that case the bond mac address is the one
of the active slave, where remote peers are notified on the mac address
(neighbour) change by Gratuitous ARP sent by bonding when fail-over occurs
(this is already done by the bonding code).

Normally, the bonding driver is UP before any enslavement takes place.
Once a netdevice is UP, the network stack acts to have it join some multicast groups
(eg the all-hosts Now, since ether_setup() have set the bonding device
type to be ARPHRD_ETHER and address len to be ETHER_ALEN, the net core code
computes a wrong multicast link address. This is b/c ip_eth_mc_map() is called
where for mcast joins taking place **after** the enslavement another ip_xxx_mc_map()
is called (eg ip_ib_mc_map() when the bond type is ARPHRD_INFINIBAND)

The third patch handles this problem by allowing to enslave devices when the
bonding device is not up. Over the discussion held at the previous post this
seemed to be the most clean way to go, where it is not expected to cause

These patches are not enough for configuration of IPoIB bonding through tools
(eg /sbin/ifenslave and /sbin/ifup) provided by packages such as sysconfig and
initscripts, specifically since these tools sets the bonding device to be UP
before enslaving anything. Once this patchset gets positive/feedback the next step
would be to look how to enhance the tools/packages so it would be possible to
bond/enslave with the modified code. As suggested by the bonding maintainer, this
step can potentially involve converting ifenslave to be a script based on the bonding
sysfs infrastructure rather on the somehow obsoleted Documentation/networking/ifenslave.c

For the ease of potential testers, I will post an example bonding sysfs script which
can be used to set bonding to work with patches 1-3 (let me know!)


changes from V1 (the links point to V1 0-3/3)

+ enforce mutual exclusion on the slaves ether types
+ don't attempt to set the bond mtu when enslaving a non ARPHRD_ETHER device
+ rather than hack the bond device ether type through mod params allow enslavement
  when the bond device is not up
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