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Method and apparatus for providing a measurement of performance for a network

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Title: Method and apparatus for providing a measurement of performance for a network.
Abstract: Performance for a network is measured by sending multi-objective probes on a path, receiving at least one of the multi-objective probes for the path, and determining performance measurements for at least two parameters of the path determined from the at least one of the multi-objective probes. Separate algorithms are simultaneously executed to measure the at least two parameters of the path determined from the at least one of the multi-objective probes. ...


Browse recent At&t Intellectual Property I, L.p. patents - Atlanta, GA, US
Inventors: Joel SOMMERS, Nicholas DUFFIELD, Paul BARFORD, Amos RON
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120106377 - Class: 370252 (USPTO) - 05/03/12 - Class 370 
Multiplex Communications > Diagnostic Testing (other Than Synchronization) >Determination Of Communication Parameters

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120106377, Method and apparatus for providing a measurement of performance for a network.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation application of pending U.S. application Ser. No. 12/109,743, filed on Apr. 25, 2008, the contents of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

The present invention relates generally to communications networks and, more particularly, to a method and apparatus for providing a measurement of performance for a packet network, e.g., a Local Area Network (LAN), a Virtual Private Network (VPN), an Internet Protocol (IP) network, and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A customer may request a network service provider to guarantee the performance of one or more network services. For example, the service provider and the customer may detail the level of network performance for a service to be received by the customer in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). For example, a SLA may detail transport level service assurances for a service using performance parameters such as: frequency of loss events, duration of loss events, packet loss rates, delay, delay variation, etc. Failing to meet an SLA guarantee may result in a service disruption for the customer. In addition, the failure to meet an SLA guarantee may result in a loss of revenue for the customer and/or the network service provider.

The service provider may perform compliance monitoring to ensure that SLA targets are met. The compliance monitoring may be performed passively by collecting network data or actively by injecting measurement probes. Passive measurements are performed on a link-by-link basis and are not well suited to end-to-end performance targets. Current active measurements are focused on assessing a specific parameter (e.g., delay or loss), and are often not sufficiently accurate to determine whether an SLA has been violated.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, the present invention discloses a method and apparatus for providing a measurement of performance for a network. For example, the method sends a plurality of multi-objective probes on a path, and receives one or more of said plurality of multi-objective probes for the path. The method then determines a plurality of performance measurements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The teaching of the present invention can be readily understood by considering the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an illustrative network related to the current invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates an illustrative network of the current invention for providing a measurement of performance for a network;

FIG. 3 illustrates an illustrative architecture of a multi-objective probe scheduler;

FIG. 4 illustrates a flowchart of a method for providing a measurement of performance for a network; and

FIG. 5 illustrates a high level block diagram of a general purpose computer suitable for use in performing the functions described herein.

To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention a method and apparatus for providing a measurement of performance for a packet network, e.g., a Local Area Network (LAN), a Virtual Private Network (VPN), an Internet Protocol (IP) network, and the like. For example, the present invention discloses a method for providing SLA compliance monitoring.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary packet network 100 related to the current invention. Exemplary packet networks include Internet protocol (IP) networks, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks, frame-relay networks, and the like. An IP network is broadly defined as a network that uses Internet Protocol such as IPv4 or IPv6 and the like to exchange data packets. It should be noted that the present invention is not limited to a particular type of network.

In one embodiment, the packet network may comprise a plurality of endpoint devices 102-104 configured for communication with the core packet network 110 (e.g., an IP based core backbone network supported by a service provider) via an access network 101. Similarly, a plurality of endpoint devices 105-107 are configured for communication with the core packet network 110 via an access network 108. The network elements (NEs) 109 and 111 may serve as gateway servers or edge routers for the network 110.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120106377 A1
Publish Date
05/03/2012
Document #
13283194
File Date
10/27/2011
USPTO Class
370252
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04L12/26
Drawings
6



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