Manual Chapter : Maintaining the L2 forwarding table

Applies To:

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BIG-IP AAM

  • 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP APM

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP Analytics

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP Link Controller

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP LTM

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP PEM

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP AFM

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP DNS

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0

BIG-IP ASM

  • 17.0.0, 16.1.3, 16.1.2, 16.1.1, 16.1.0, 16.0.1, 16.0.0, 15.1.7, 15.1.6, 15.1.5, 15.1.4, 15.1.3, 15.1.2, 15.1.1, 15.1.0, 15.0.1, 15.0.0, 14.1.5, 14.1.4, 14.1.3, 14.1.2, 14.1.0
Manual Chapter

Maintaining the L2 forwarding table

Layer 2 forwarding is the means by which frames are exchanged directly between hosts, with no IP routing required. This is accomplished using a simple forwarding table for each VLAN. The L2 forwarding table is a list that shows, for each host in the VLAN, the MAC address of the host, along with the interface that the BIG-IP® system needs for sending frames to that host. The intent of the L2 forwarding table is to help the BIG-IP system determine the correct interface for sending frames, when the system determines that no routing is required.
The format of an entry in the L2 forwarding table is:
<MAC address> -> <if>
For example, an entry for a host in the VLAN might look like this:
00:a0:c9:9e:1e:2f -> 2.1
The BIG-IP system learns the interfaces that correspond to various MAC entries as frames pass through the system, and automatically adds entries to the table accordingly. These entries are known as
dynamic entries
. You can also add entries to the table manually, and these are known as
static entries
. Entering static entries is useful if you have network devices that do not advertise their MAC addresses. The system does not automatically update static entries.
The BIG-IP system does not always need to use the L2 forwarding table to find an interface for frame transmission. For instance, if a VLAN has only one interface assigned to it, then the BIG-IP system automatically uses that interface.
Occasionally, the L2 forwarding table does not include an entry for the destination MAC address and its corresponding BIG-IP system interface. In this case, the BIG-IP system floods the frame through all interfaces associated with the VLAN, until a reply creates an entry in the L2 forwarding table.