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Mechanism for Non-disruptive Dynamic Testing of a Communications Network

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000122437D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bond, AL: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a selective mechanism which can test special functions, such as fault-detection mechanisms in a communications network, without having to take components out of service to perform the tests. Special test messages can be interspersed with normal messages in any way without disrupting normal operations.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Mechanism for Non-disruptive Dynamic Testing of a Communications
Network

      This article describes a selective mechanism which can
test special functions, such as fault-detection mechanisms in a
communications network, without having to take components out of
service to perform the tests.  Special test messages can be
interspersed with normal messages in any way without disrupting
normal operations.

      When testing a communications network, three parties are
involved: a sending party, a receiving party, and a controlling
entity.  The controlling entity will request the sending party to
send a "test message" to the receiving party.  The sending party will
send the test message to the receiving party, which will report the
receipt to the controlling party.  Sometimes it is desirable to be
able to force errors into the network to determine if the network can
correctly detect and handle those errors.  When the sender is set
into a mode where it acts in an erroneous manner, so as to force
errors, it is out of service for normal traffic and must be dedicated
to the test environment.

      A fourth party, the "fault injector," is introduced in the
network.  The fault injector is placed in the path of data traffic
between the sender and the receiver.  It may be part of the sender,
the receiver, or a separate component. All traffic passes through the
fault injector, and under normal conditions, the fault injector is
transparent, not affecting the data in any way.  As messages pass
through the fault injector, they are tested for the presence of a
test flag.  If no test flag is present, the message is passed
unchanged.  If a test flag is present, a specified fault is injected
into the m...