A topological reliability model for TCP/IP over Ethernet networks
MetadataShow full item record
Network failures can originate from or be located in any one of several network layers as described by the OSI model. This investigation focuses on the role of physical topological design parameters in determining network reliability and performance as can be expected from the point of view of a typical client-server based connection in an Ethernet local area network. This type of host-to-host IP connection is found in many commercial, military and industrial network based systems. Using Markov modelling techniques reliability and performability models are developed for common network topologies based on the redundancy mechanism provided by IEEE spanning tree protocols. The models are tested and validated using the OPNET network simulation environment. The reliability and performability metrics calculated from the derived models for different topologies are compared leading to the following conclusions. The reliability of the entry-nodes into a redundant network is a determining factor in connection availability. Redundancy mechanisms must be extended from the entry-node to the connecting hosts to gain a significant benefit from redundant network topologies as network availability remains limited to three-nines. The hierarchical mesh network offers the highest availability (sevennines) and performability. Both these metrics can be accurately predicted irrespective of the position of the entry-node in the mesh. Ring networks offer high availability (five to sevennines) and performability if the ring remains small to medium sized, however for larger rings (N≥32) the availability is highly dependant on the relative position of the entry-node in the ring. Performability also degrades significantly as the ring size increases. Although star networks offer predictable and high performability the availability is low (four-nines) because of the lack of redundancy. The star should therefore not be used in IP networked systems requiring more than four-nines availability. In all the topologies investigated the reliability and performability can be increased significantly by introducing redundant links instead of single links interconnecting the various nodes, with the star topology availability increasing from four-nines to seven-nines and performance doubling.
- Engineering