Aspects of proactive traffic engineering in IP networks

Gunnar, Anders (2011) Aspects of proactive traffic engineering in IP networks. Doctoral thesis, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.


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To deliver a reliable communication service over the Internet it is essential for the network operator to manage the traffic situation in the network. The traffic situation is controlled by the routing function which determines what path traffic follows from source to destination. Current practices for setting routing parameters in IP networks are designed to be simple to manage. This can lead to congestion in parts of the network while other parts of the network are far from fully utilized. In this thesis we explore issues related to optimization of the routing function to balance load in the network and efficiently deliver a reliable communication service to the users. The optimization takes into account not only the traffic situation under normal operational conditions, but also traffic situations that appear under a wide variety of circumstances deviating from the nominal case. In order to balance load in the network knowledge of the traffic situations is needed. Consequently, in this thesis we investigate methods for efficient derivation of the traffic situation. The derivation is based on estimation of traffic demands from link load measurements. The advantage of using link load measurements is that they are easily obtained and consist of a limited amount of data that need to be processed. We evaluate and demonstrate how estimation based on link counts gives the operator a fast and accurate description of the traffic demands. For the evaluation we have access to a unique data set of complete traffic demands from an operational IP backbone. However, to honor service level agreements at all times the variability of the traffic needs to be accounted for in the load balancing. In addition, optimization techniques are often sensitive to errors and variations in input data. Hence, when an optimized routing setting is subjected to real traffic demands in the network, performance often deviate from what can be anticipated from the optimization. Thus, we identify and model different traffic uncertainties and describe how the routing setting can be optimized, not only for a nominal case, but for a wide range of different traffic situations that might appear in the network. Our results can be applied in MPLS enabled networks as well as in networks using link state routing protocols such as the widely used OSPF and IS-IS protocols. Only minor changes may be needed in current networks to implement our algorithms. The contributions of this thesis is that we: demonstrate that it is possible to estimate the traffic matrix with acceptable precision, and we develop methods and models for common traffic uncertainties to account for these uncertainties in the optimization of the routing configuration. In addition, we identify important properties in the structure of the traffic to successfully balance uncertain and varying traffic demands.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
ID Code:4080
Deposited By:Anders Gunnar
Deposited On:11 Nov 2011 15:49
Last Modified:29 Nov 2011 10:58

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