Browse Prior Art Database

Method for Preventing Accounting Data Loss due to Counter Wraps

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110884D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 125K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chen, D: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A method for preventing accounting data loss due to counter wraps is disclosed. The Manager uses the Agent's THRESHOLD object to create/store accounting records for an active resource whenever the value of its data-item counter(s) is equal to the THRESHOLD value or an even multiple of the THRESHOLD value.

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Method for Preventing Accounting Data Loss due to Counter Wraps

      A method for preventing accounting data loss due to counter
wraps is disclosed.  The Manager uses the Agent's THRESHOLD object to
create/store accounting records for an active resource whenever the
value of its data-item counter(s) is equal to the THRESHOLD value or
an even multiple of the THRESHOLD value.

      A unique method for preventing accounting data loss due to
counter wraps has been uncovered.  This method offers significant
features which are not available in traditional methodologies.  It
can be easily used in providing accounting data for any routing
protocol, and is independent of the actual network management
protocol.

      One of the key network management functions for any routing
protocol is accounting.  Customers have long required routing
protocols to provide accounting data.  This accounting data is
typically then used as input into the customers' billing,
performance, capacity planning and/or problem determination
applications.

      Accounting data for a specific protocol resource, e.g.,
session, consists of a group of data-objects.  This group of
data-objects can be viewed as an accounting record.  Typically within
this group of data-objects will be one or more data-item counters,
e.g., byte count, PIU count, etc.

      By definition, counters are unsigned numbers which are
initialized to zero, incremented to their maximum value, and wrap,
e.g., reach their maximum value and begin again with zero.  The
maximum value of the counter is determined either internally by its
representation (2 bytes = 65,536, 4 bytes = 4,294,867,296, etc.)  or
externally by its definition.

      During collection of accounting data for a resource, one or
more of the data-item counters may wrap.  This will result in an
incorrect count or loss of data.

      A counter's probability to wrap is dependent on its size and
rate of incrementation.  Given the same rate of incrementation, a
small counter will wrap faster than a large counter.  Likewise, given
the same size counter, the higher the rate of incremenatation the
sooner the counter will wrap.

      Using traditional methodologies to provide a network accounting
function, the possibility of a counter wrapping is always present.
The probability increases as resources stay active longer, and
provide more data items to count.

      To address the problem of accounting data loss due to a counter
wrap, a new method was developed.  This method uses the following key
concepts:

1.  A THRESHOLD object was defined.  This object exists at the Agent,
    and is exposed to Manager for modification, e.g., specification
    of a value.

2.  Modification of the THRESHOLD  object by the Manager will cause
    the Agent to create/store accounting records for an active
    resources whenever the value of its data-item counter(s) is equal
    to the THRESHOLD value o...