Browse Prior Art Database

Internet Accounting: Background (RFC1272) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002091D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Document File: 19 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

C. Mills: AUTHOR [+2]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1272: DOI


This document provides background information for the "Internet Accounting Architecture". This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 8% of the total text.

Network Working Group C. Mills Request for Comments: 1272 BBN D. Hirsh Meridian Technology Corporation G. Ruth BBN November 1991


Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Statement of Purpose

This document provides background information for the "Internet Accounting Architecture" and is the first of a three document set:

Internet Accounting Background & Status (this document) Internet Accounting Architecture (under construction) Internet Accounting Meter Service (under construction)

The focus at this time is on defining METER SERVICES and USAGE REPORTING which provide basic semantics for measuring network utilization, a syntax, and a data reporting protocol. The intent is to produce a set of standards that is of practical use for early experimentation with usage reporting as an internet accounting mechanism.

The architecture should be expandable as additional experience is gained. The short-term Internet Accounting solution is intended to merge with OSI and Autonomous Network Research Group (ANRG) efforts and be superseded by those efforts in the long term. The OSI accounting working groups are currently defining meter syntax and reporting protocols. The ANRG research group is currently researching economic models and accounting tools for the Internet environment.

Internet Accounting as described here does not wrestle with the applications of usage reporting, such as monitoring and enforcing network policy; nor does it recommend approaches to billing or tackle such thorny issues as who pays for packet retransmission.

This document provides background and tutorial information on issues

Mills, Hirsh, & Ruth [Page 1]

RFC 1272 Internet Accounting: Background November 1991

surrounding the architecture, or in a sense, an explanation of choices made in the Internet Accounting Architecture.

2. Goals for a Usage Reporting Architecture

We have adopted the accounting framework and terminology used by OSI (ISO 7498-4 OSI Reference Model Part 4: Management Framework). This framework defines a generalized accounting management activity which includes calculations, usage reporting to users and providers and enforcing various limits on the use of resources. Our own ambitions are considerably more modest in that we are defining an architecture to be used over the short- term (until ISO and ANRG have final pronouncement and standards) that is limited to network USAGE REPORTING.

The OSI accounting model defines three basic entities:

1) the METER, which performs measurements and aggregates the results of those measurements;

2) the COLLECTOR, which is responsible for the integrity and security of METER data in short-term storage and transit; and

3) the APPLICATION, which processes/formats/stores METER data. APPLICATIONS implicitly manage METERS.

This working group, then, is concerned with specifying the attribut...