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Improved SCTP failover strategy using minimized common communication path selection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012878D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a new algorithm to improve SCTP failover strategy. This publication describes a method that helps select alternate failover paths with minimal commonality.

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  Improved SCTP failover strategy using minimized common communication path selection

SCTP - Stream Control Transmission Protocol is a new transport protocol described in RFC 2960. SCTP provides fault tolerance by using multihoming, i.e. using hosts that have multiple interfaces to provide multiple paths between two communicating hosts.

For example assume that hosts A and B each have three interfaces. Host A has IP addresses A1, A2, and A3 and another host B has IP addresses B1, B2 and B3. Setting up an SCTP association (similar to a TCP connection) with the application bound to INADDR_ANY on both A and B will result in the association using all the three interfaces on both A and B. This possibly provides for multiple paths between A and B. However, usually a primary path is established based on the IP addresses used in connection establishment, and if this primary path fails either due to interface failure or path failure, another available path is picked up and the communication proceeds uninterrupted.

The availability of alternate paths is monitored by using heartbeats. The SCTP heartbeat mechanism involves sending HEARTBEAT messages to the peer along alternate unused paths and recording availability by receiving HEARTBEAT-ACKs (acknowledgments sent in response to these HEARTBEATS).

Currently in case of the primary path failure in the presence of multiple alternate paths, there is no algorithm dictating how an alternate path should be chosen. In this disclosure a mechanism is proposed for alternate path selection for failover in SCTP such that failover is improved while maintaining good performance.

The main point in SCTP multihoming is the provisioning of failover capabilities. However, proper leve...