Browse Prior Art Database

Dynamic LAN Reconfiguration Mechanism

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114170D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 149K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bisdikian, C: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A method is disclosed for reconfiguring the topology of a communication network in such a manner that is transparent to all stations in the network. The dynamic reconfiguration capability is desirable for performance, reliability, and security reasons.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Dynamic LAN Reconfiguration Mechanism

      A method is disclosed for reconfiguring the topology of a
communication network in such a manner that is transparent to all
stations in the network.  The dynamic reconfiguration capability is
desirable for performance, reliability, and security reasons.

      As networks continue to grow and increase in complexity, it
becomes more difficult to meet, and much less to guarantee, certain
performance requirements.  As stations, bridges, routers and Local
Area Network (LAN) segments are added to the network, the behavior of
the network becomes less predictable.  Hence, the judicious
management of the network becomes crucial in order to obtain suitable
performance.  In a typical network environment, a network
administrator must plan carefully when adding new stations to the
network.  This is true since changes in the network (e.g., adding or
moving station) incur overheads in the network performance.  Bridges
must learn of the topology changes and packets may get dropped while
the bridge routing tables are being updated.

      Furthermore, a new class of applications are emerging which
have stricter delay and bandwidth requirements.  These real-time
multimedia applications also distinguish themselves from traditional
data applications in that they are primarily connection oriented.
Both audio and video applications are generally initiated with a call
request which establishes network requirements between the end-points
participating in the call.  For example, consider the network
configuration shown in Fig. 1(a).  If a multimedia connection were to
be established between stations A and B, the communication path would
have to traverse LAN segment 0, bridge x, LAN segment 2, bridge y,
LAN segment 3, bridge z, and finally LAN segment 4.  This could lead
to very poor and unpredictable quality of service.  It would be much
more desirable if both stations wishing to communicate could be moved
to the same LAN segment as shown in Fig. 1(b).  This would reduce the
communication overhead on the network and improve the quality of the
connection between stations A and B.

      Hence, given that a station could gracefully be moved between
segments in a network, reconfiguration may be desirable for several
reasons:
  1.  Network Design/Migration.  A configuration may be designed
based
       on organizational, functional, or wiring reasons.  Static
types
       of reconfiguration decisions are based on a priori knowledge
of
       organizational or functional changes.  This might also include
       migration upgrades where, for example, a station's network
       adapter is upgraded from Ethernet to FDDI (using the same
       wiring).
  2.  Security.  A configuration can be based on secured and public
       domains.  Changes in clearance levels may require
reconfiguration
       to allow a station to move between domains.  This...