[e2e] use of MAC addresses

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Thu Apr 13 14:50:52 PDT 2006

Fahad Dogar wrote:
> On 4/13/06, Joe Touch <touch at isi.edu> wrote:
> IMHO, we have to change these protocols because they have been
> designed keeping in view the presence of MAC addresses and how they
> work. 

You need to change the protocols only if they don't do something you
need to do. What is it you need to do?

> If we were to redesign Internet and networking technologies
> (clean slate approach), do we need to have a different MAC address.
> Shouldn't IP address be sufficient? It is like assigning a globally
> unique name to every person and then asking him to maintain an
> additional name for 'local' identification.

The locally unique address is how you know you're different from someone
else before you get (or pick a random, possibly colliding) IP address.

The reason for that need is the MAC protocol - bridging, backoff,
spanning tree, etc. If you design a multi-access subnet that doesn't
need unique a-priori addresses, then you might be able to reuse IP

I.e., this needs to be motivated at the MAC layer.


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