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Performance Initiative: Dynamic Network Adapter Selection/Failover Based on Signal Strength/Speed

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020055D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This invention consists of a software application which will continually monitor the strength and speed of all available network connections. It will automatically disable network connections whose performance has dropped to below that of another available connection, always keeping the strongest/fastest connection enabled. Existing technology provides load-balancing solutions for high-end servers. Such solutions tend to be externally-driven controlled by a separate piece of hardware. This invention differs because it is internally driven. Existing technology provides for failover upon adapter failure. However, the change has to be made manually, often necessitating reboots, resulting in increased downtime. This invention differs because it is automated and seamless.

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  Performance Initiative: Dynamic Network Adapter Selection/Failover Based on Signal Strength/Speed

This software monitors available network connections. For the currently active connection, performance metrics will be calculated based on existing traffic. For inactive connections and for the active connection if it's idle performance could be monitored by sending periodic ping packets to a set of representative network addresses. Signal strength and speed will be boiled down to a raw number which can be easily compared with that of the other configured devices. A handoff event will be triggered whenever a device takes the lead in terms of this performance metric.

There should be a buffer of time and/or performance differential built into the handoff trigger. In other words, when one device surpasses another, it must surpass it by a certain amount to cause a handoff to be performed, or it must remain marginally better for a certain amount of time. This is to prevent constant swapping which would probably decrease overall performance in the case of two similarly-performing devices when one or both is fading in and out slightly, but should not preclude an immediate handoff if the currently dominant device drops entirely.

Since different adapters may be used for different purposes, the software would need to handle adapter grouping. At setup time, the user would add each adapter to a group,
e.g. Intranet, Internet, etc. and handoffs would only take place between membe...