Multihomed describes a computer host that has multiple IP addresses to connected networks. A multihomed host is physically connected to multiple data links that can be on the same or different networks. For example, a computer with a Windows NT 4.0 Server and multiple IP addresses can be referred to as "multihomed" and may serve as an IP router.

Using the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP), multihoming allows a single SCTP endpoint to support multiple IP addresses, which means that a session is more likely to survive a network failure. In a single-homed session, a network failure can isolate the end system or make transport temporarily unavailable. Multihoming means that redundant local area networks (LANs) can be used to support local access. Various approaches, such as using addresses with different prefixes to force routing through different carriers, or even using redundant core networks, can be taken to reduce the effects of failures.

Multihoming is commonly used in Web management for load balancing, redundancy, and disaster recovery.

This was last updated in September 2005

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