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Standards and characteristics of Ethernet frames

Frame size and Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) size are the two important characteristics of an Ethernet frame. The standard Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) frame size is 1,518 bytes. The MTU size specifies the maximum number of bytes of data that can be encapsulated in an Ethernet frame.

The frame size of a standard Ethernet frame (defined by RFC 894) is the sum of the Ethernet header (14 bytes), the payload (IP packet, usually 1,500 bytes), and the Frame Check Sequence (FCS) field (4 bytes). You can change the default frame size on Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces.

The MTU size specifies the maximum payload that can be encapsulated in an Ethernet frame. For example, the MTU size of a standard Ethernet frame is 1,500 bytes; this is the default for storage systems. However, a jumbo frame, with an MTU size of 9,000 bytes, can also be configured.