(i9) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication
Rothman et al.
(54) METHOD AND APPARATUS TO ENHANCE PLATFORM BOOT EFFICIENCY
(76) Inventors: Michael A. Rothman, Puyallup, WA
(US); Vincent J. Zimmer, Federal Way,
BLAKELY SOKOLOFF TAYLOR & ZAFMAN
12400 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90025-1030 (US)
(21) Appl. No.: 11/026,420
(22) Filed: Dec. 29, 2004
Methods and apparatus for improving network boot efficiency are disclosed. Under embodiments of the method, boot images that are initially sent from a boot server to various clients are cached at network devices along communication paths between the boot server and the clients. In response to subsequent boot image requests from the clients, boot images cached at the network devices are downloaded directly from the network devices rather than from the boot server, reducing network traffic to and from the boot server and domains in between. In addition, boot program bootstrap files may also be cached and downloaded in a similar manner. Techniques are also disclosed for intercepting boot image download and network bootstrap program requests at the network devices, and for maintaining valid boot image cache configurations across the network. The network devices generally include switches, routers, bridges, and gateway servers.