I got a question late last night about the applicability of Baby Giants and Jumbo frames in an environment; the use of Ethernet frames above 1600 bytes and up to 9000 bytes. This had me reaching into the deep dark corners of my memory to respond. So I thought that I’d put it up here for posterity.
What are they:
Lets start with the basic Ethernet Frame. In short, and Ethernet frame is made up of a source address, a destination address, a type field, some data (the payload) and a checksum.Wikipedia
Ethernet has had this frame format and payload size from about 1980 (please check the history if you want exact details) .
With the creation of Gigabit Ethernet came the ability to have bigger frames (well not really that simple, see previous link). A Baby Giant frame is any frame greater than 1600 bytes and a Jumbo frame is any Ethernet frame up to 9216 (plus header and checksum).
So why are we limited to ~9000 bytes? Part of the issue is that Ethernet uses a 32 bit CRC that loses its effectiveness above about 12000 bytes, see “32-Bit Cyclic Redundancy Codes for Internet Applications and 9000 is large enough to carry an 8 KB application datagram (e.g. NFS) plus frame header and CRC overhead.