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Mechanism for enabling layer two host addresses to be shielded from the switches in a network

Image Number 9 for United States Patent #8125996.

Methods and systems for shielding layer two host addresses (e.g., MAC addresses) from a network are provided. According to one embodiment, a border component of a network of switches receives a first packet intended for a first host having a first L2 address and a first L3 address associated therewith. The first packet includes the first L3 address and a substitute L2 address as destination addresses. The substitute L2 address is associated with a communication channel of the border component. A data structure including information regarding an association between the first L3 address and the first L2 address is accessed by the border component. A determination is made that the destination L2 address for the first packet should be the first L2 address. A first updated packet is derived from the first packet by replacing the substitute L2 address with the first L2 address and sent to the first host.

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