1.1.d [v] IP MTU
IPv4 allows fragmentation: dividing the datagram into pieces, each small enough to pass over the single link that is being fragmented for, using the MTU parameter configured for that interface. This fragmentation process takes place at the IP layer (OSI layer 3) and marks packets it fragments as such, so that the IP layer of the destination host knows it should reassemble the packets into the original datagram. This method implies a number of possible drawbacks:
● All fragments of a packet must arrive for the packet to be considered received. If the network drops any fragment, the entire packet is lost.
● When the size of most or all packets exceed the MTU of a particular link that has to carry those packets, almost everything has to be fragmented. In certain cases the overhead this causes can be considered unreasonable or unnecessary.
For example, various tunneling situations cross the MTU by very little as they add just a header’s worth of data. The addition is small, but each packet now has to be sent in two fragments, the second of which carries very little payload. The same amount of payload is being moved, but every intermediate router has to do double the work in terms of header parsing and routing decisions.
● As it is normal to maximize the payload in every fragment, any further fragmentation that turns out to be necessary will increase the overhead even more.
● There is no simple method to discover the MTU of links beyond a node’s direct peers.
● The Internet Protocol requires that hosts must be able to process IP datagrams of at least 576 bytes (for IPv4) or 1,280 bytes (for IPv6). However , this does not preclude Data Link Layers with an MTU smaller than IP’s minimum MTU from conveying IP data. For example, according to IPv6′ s specification, if a particular Data Link Layer physically cannot deliver an IP datagram of 1,280 bytes in a single frame, then the link layer must provide its own fragmentation and reassembly mechanism, separate from IP’s own fragmentation mechanism, to ensure that a 1280-byte IP datagram can be delivered , intact, to the IP layer.
Adam, Paul (2014-07-12). All-in-One CCIE V5 Written Exam Guide (Kindle Locations 1086-1098). . Kindle Edition.