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Self-Defining Encodings for Network Management Statistics

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037072D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 6 page(s) / 181K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Irvin, DR: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Keeping various sets of counter value contents (hereafter "counters") has become a key aspect of the management of communication networks. Such counters monitor the operation of the communications function, and detect degradation, impending failure, and failure of various network components and links. (Image Omitted)

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Self-Defining Encodings for Network Management Statistics

Keeping various sets of counter value contents (hereafter "counters") has become a key aspect of the management of communication networks. Such counters monitor the operation of the communications function, and detect degradation, impending failure, and failure of various network components and links.

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A simple example of such a set of counters for a hypothetical data link control (DLC) would be the set consisting of the numbers of frames received with error, frames sent, and frames sent with error. From these counts, the ratio of errors-to- traffic (E/T) could be computed at a central point, the control point owning the link for which the counters were kept. Comparing the computed value of E/T to various thresholds provides a means of categorizing the operation of the link as normal, degraded, or failed. A more detailed example showing the counters for an implementation of the X.25 protocol is given at the end of this description.

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Counters are currently carried by protocol-unique subvectors. Transporting and managing the counter values and their associated problem-management thresholds, known together as "problem determination statistics", require product-specific implementations at the network management application program resident at the problem management focal point. This solution proposes a new approach to transporting counters, to interpreting these counters subsequently, to setting and querying problem management thresholds for the counters, and to requesting the current values of the counters. The new approach is through the introduction of "generic" problem determination statistics (GPDS). The use of GPDS enables the network management application program to identify and manipulate each counter and to establish the role of that counter in the data analysis algorithm, all without intimate knowledge of the managed entity.

The GPDS subvector contains the following subfields: Cause code, identifies the reason for sending the subvector. Counter Set Identifier: specifies the counter set corresponding to the subvector (e.g., S/S, SDLC). Counter Identifier and Value: identifies a network management counter and transports its value, or identifies a counter whose value is being requested; multiple instances of this subfield may be present for counters that are normally interpreted as a set. Threshold Identifier and Value: identifies a network management threshold to be set and gives the value to which it is to be set, or identifies a network management threshold whose current value is being requested, or provides an echo or reply following, respectively, a set or request operation, multiple instances of this subfield may be present.

A network management encoding (known as a "major vector") may contain multiple instances of the GPDS subvector. Each instance will report counters or thresholds related only to a single protocol (a "counter set" o...