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Similarities and differences between fast path over IPv4 and IPv6

Starting with Data ONTAP 7.3.3, fast path is supported over IPv6. Fast path over IPv4 and IPv6 provide improved storage system performance. However, fast path over IPv6 does not provide load balancing between multiple interfaces like IPv4 does.

Similarities between fast path over IPv4 and IPv6

Fast path over IPv4 and IPv6 provide improved system performance because of the following reasons:
  • When fast path is enabled, TCP checksum computation is automatically offloaded to the network interfaces.
    Note: Only specific NICs support this functionality.
  • Route lookup to the final destination is skipped when fast path is enabled.

Differences between fast path over IPv4 and IPv6

Fast path over IPv4 provides load balancing between multiple network interfaces on the same subnet because responses are sent on the same network interface that receives the incoming requests. IPv4 uses the same source IPv4 address and the source MAC address of the incoming packet in the destination packet.

Fast path over IPv6 does not provide load balancing because it uses the default gateway of the incoming interface as the destination. Fast path over IPv6 always performs an NDP lookup to find the MAC address of the next hop. Therefore, the responses might not be sent on the same interface that receives the request.