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AUTOMATED TOPOLOGY DISCOVERY OF OPTICAL NETWORKS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248427D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-28

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Telecommunication networks include interconnected network elements which provide communication services to end users. The map of port-to-port connectivity of these network elements is referred to as the network topology. Due to the ever-growing demand, these networks undergo frequent changes in their topology as new fiber optic links, nodes and circuits are regularly provisioned and upgraded. Topology discovery of legacy optical networks, though currently a challenge for network operators, remains a challenging problem, that resembles a puzzle, as very often, some network information is missing or erroneous. Variously, systems and methods are described for the physical (link) layer network topology defining the concept of port signature with the combination of different network parameters, and then a weighted matching model to identify the pairs of connected ports. Confidence coefficients are assigned to the discovered port pairs to indicate the matching similarity of identified port pairs.

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AUTOMATED TOPOLOGY DISCOVERY OF OPTICAL NETWORKS

ABSTRACT

Telecommunication networks include interconnected network elements which provide communication services to end users. The map of port-to-port connectivity of these network elements is referred to as the network topology. Due to the ever-growing demand, these networks undergo frequent changes in their topology as new fiber optic links, nodes and circuits are regularly provisioned and upgraded. Topology discovery of legacy optical networks, though currently a challenge for network operators, remains a challenging problem, that resembles a puzzle, as very often, some network information is missing or erroneous. Variously, systems and methods are described for the physical (link) layer network topology defining the concept of port signature with the combination of different network parameters, and then a weighted matching model to identify the pairs of connected ports. Confidence coefficients are assigned to the discovered port pairs to indicate the matching similarity of identified port pairs.

BACKGROUND

Managing current network topology, such as at the physical layer, i.e., Layer 0/1, is a challenging task. Network operators plan network modernization projects, update their records, or try to reduce troubleshooting time and cost, and understanding network topology is a critical step. With continuous mergers and acquisitions, a trend of multi-vendor equipment, and the general aging and constant change of networks, a network topology map can become quickly outdated and erroneous.

In order to avoid the loss of connectivity details, an update is required each time a change in made in the network. The traditional ways of handling these changes include manual tracing of fibers or cables, documenting in spreadsheets, manual updates to databases, etc. Unfortunately, all these methods are prone to errors due to human intervention and additionally are labor intensive and costly for any network operator. Consequently, recording of network updates/changes is often poorly done and brings a need for an automated solution to discover the network connectivity. Although some modern network element equipment can automate this process, operators with legacy and multi-vendor networks do not have this luxury.

The topology discovery problem can be defined as follows: given a set of fiber endpoints, or ports, how can we pair them in a unique way in order to re-establish the network connectivity.

DESCRIPTION

Again, systems and methods are described for the physical (link) layer network topology defining the concept of port signature with the combination of different network parameters, and then a weighted matching model to identify the pairs of connected ports. Confidence coefficients are assigned to the discovered port pairs to indicate the matching similarity of identified port pairs. Specifically, a signature is defined for each port, based on the underlying protocol (e.g., SONET, SDH, OTN, Eth...