Before any host sends IP data to a destination address, it determines the MAC address of the destination host, because the Data Link layer knows only about MAC addresses. The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a part of the TCP/IP stack implementation, and it maps IP addresses to MAC addresses. This protocol determines the MAC address given to an IP address. Another protocol, the Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP), does the reverse process and maps the MAC addresses to IP addresses. RARP is used with diskless workstations. These protocols are explained in the following sections.

The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

The Address Resolution Protocol is a broadcast protocol. When a host wants to ...

Get Solaris™ 8 Network Administrator Certification Training Guide now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.