What is Slow Protocol

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When link aggregation and LACP are standardized (IEEE802.3ad era), the IEEE 802.3 committee created a general-purpose protocol as a protocol for managing Ethernet and defined LACP as its sub-protocol. The generic protocol that is the base of LACP is Slow Protocol.

The IEEE 802.3 committee classified the Ethernet management protocol into two.One is ” Fast ” which needs prompt response, the other is ” Slow ” which is relatively slow processing.We defined the latter as Slow Protocol and allowed to specify subprotocol such as LACP for subtype Field.

A protocol named “Fast Protocol” does not currently exist, but Ethernet flow control IEEE 802.3X is classified as “Fast”.

Fast ” implements at the HW architecture level to prioritize speed, IEEE802.3 committee told that ” Slow ” should be implemented at software (firmware) level in order to give priority to flexibility.

Also, Slow Protocol refers to “up to 10 frames per second”, “less than 128 Kbyte is preferable”.

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Slow Protocol format

The format of Slow Protocol is as follows.Destination MAC address and type are one different from IEEE802.3X (Fast).In addition, as the Slow Protocol, only subtypes are specified, and all the specifics of concrete contents are left to the subprotocol indicated by the subtype.

There are the following types of subtypes.

SubType Value Protocol Name
0 unused
1 Link Aggregation Control Protocol ( LACP )
2 Link Aggregation Marker Protocol
3 Operation, Administration, and Maintenance ( OAM )
4-9 Reservation
Ten Organization Specific Slow Protocol (OSSP)
11-255 unused
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