Ethernet on Solaris

Ethernet on Solaris

Solaris systems are typically supplied with a single Ethernet card, supporting 10/100 Mbps; however, server systems (such as the 420R) are supplied with quad Ethernet cards, supporting four interfaces operating at 10/100 Mbps. Although Ethernet (specified by the IEEE 802.3 standard) is the most common link type, other supported link types on Solaris include the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). FDDI networks use a ring topology based on a transmitting and receiving ring, using high-quality fiber-optic cable, to support high-speed, redundant connections. However, FDDI is expensive compared to Ethernet, and gigabit FDDI is not available. ATM is designed for high quality of service applications like video and audio streaming that require a constant amount of bandwidth to operate. Data is transmitted in fixed-size cells of 53 bytes, and a connection is maintained while required between client and server. Although ATM does not approach the speeds of Gigabit Ethernet, its quality of service provisions benefit certain types of data transmission.

In terms of the OSI networking model, Ethernet comprises both the Physical Layer (Layer 1) and the Data Link Layer (Layer 2), although a logical link control protocol is not logically defined. Robert Metcalfe at Xerox PARC developed Ethernet during the 1970s, although the major standards for Ethernet were not published until the 1980s.


TCP/IP only implements a subset of the OSI reference model.

Part I: Solaris 9 Operating Environment, Exam I