The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Software for managing a virtualized infrastructure is responsible for monitoring physical machines and virtual machines (VMs) running in the physical machines and for performing management operations such as provisioning and configuration tasks. One example of such management software is vSphere.TM. available from
"A conventional virtualized infrastructure 100, illustrated in FIG. 1, includes VM management centers 102, 104, each of which manages a virtualized computer system that includes one or more VMs running in physical machines, such as host computers 142, 144 in virtualized computer system 140 and host computers 162, 164, 166 in virtualized computer system 160. Management tasks performed by VM management centers 102, 104 include provisioning VMs, migrating VMs between host computers, and allocating physical resources of the host computers, such as processor and memory. A MAC address allocation module within each VM management center (e.g., MAC address allocation module 106 for VM management center 102 or MAC address allocation module 108 for VM management center 104) manages MAC addresses for the VMs that are managed by the VM management center.
"During provisioning of a VM, the VM management center directs its MAC address allocation module to provide a MAC address for each virtual network interface controller (vNIC) provisioned within the VM. The conventional format for a MAC address is illustrated in FIG. 1 as MAC address 120. MAC address 120 includes 6 eight-bit octets for a total of 48 bits. The first 24 bits, shown in FIG. 1 as OUI bits 122, are fixed to a set value known as the Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI). The OUI uniquely identifies an organization, such as the software vendor that is providing or has created virtualized infrastructure 100. Two of OUI bits 122 are reserved for special purposes, one bit to specify unicast or multicast transmissions, and another bit to indicate whether the MAC addresses are administered universally or locally. The last 24 bits, shown in FIG. 1 as NIC address bits 124, identify a unique NIC address corresponding to the particular vNIC to which MAC address 120 is assigned. The NIC address is further sub-divided into a prefix and an index, typically an 8-bit prefix and a 16-bit index, where the prefix is associated with an entity administering the MAC addresses, such as the MAC address allocation module of a VM management center, and the index is assigned by that entity. Consequently, when a MAC address is generated according to the conventional format, it will contain 24 bits for the OUI, 8 bits for the prefix of the NIC address, and 16 bits for the index of the NIC address. As a result, the maximum number of unique MAC addresses that are available for allocation per MAC allocation module is 2.sup.16 and every MAC allocation module has the same number of MAC addresses available."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One or more embodiments of the invention provide a technique for flexibly managing MAC addresses. This technique allows MAC addresses to be flexibly and dynamically allocated across groups of MAC allocation modules that allocate MAC addresses.
"A method of managing MAC addresses, according to an embodiment of the invention, includes the steps of defining first and second MAC address pools, the first MAC address pool managed by a first allocation module and defined by at least a first range of MAC addresses, and the second MAC address pool managed by a second allocation module and defined by at least a second range of MAC addresses that does not overlap with the first range, and adjusting sizes of the first and second MAC address pools. The adjusting step includes programmatically contracting the first range by the first allocation module and programmatically expanding the second range by the second allocation module to include MAC addresses that were in the first range prior to contraction thereof
"A virtualized computer system, according to an embodiment of the invention, includes a plurality of physical host computers in which one or more virtual machines are running, a first virtual machine management center including an allocation module for managing a first group of virtual machines and a first MAC address pool, a second virtual machine management center including an allocation module for managing a second group of virtual machines and a second MAC address pool, and a messaging system shared by the allocation modules of the first and second virtual machine management centers to notify each other of use of MAC addresses that belong to a MAC address pool of the other.
"Embodiments of the invention further provide a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that when executed by a computer system cause the computer system to perform the method set forth above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a conceptual block diagram that illustrates a virtualized infrastructure employing a conventional MAC address allocation technique.
"FIG. 2 is a conceptual block diagram that illustrates a virtualized infrastructure employing a MAC address allocation technique according to an embodiment of the invention.
"FIG. 3 is a logic diagram that illustrates MAC addresses within a MAC address pool that is managed according to an embodiment of the invention.
"FIG. 4 is a flow diagram that highlights a few of the steps carried out in connection with VM migration.
"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram for generating a MAC address during VM provisioning.
"FIG. 6 is a flow diagram for releasing a MAC address during VM deprovisioning.
"FIG. 7 is a flow diagram that illustrates a method for processing a change in MAC address pool size, according to an embodiment of the invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: BAPHNA, Mukesh; Su, Chi-Hsiang; Mahalingam, Mallik; Yu, Jia. Method and Apparatus for Managing Mac Address Generation for Virtualized Environments. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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