Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr. S. Paul Maj

Abstract

With the advent of bandwidth-hungry video and audio applications, demand for bandwidth is expected to exceed supply. Users will require more bandwidth and, as always, there are likely to be more users. As the Internet user base becomes more diverse, there is an increasing perception that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be able to differentiate between users, so that the specific needs of different types of users can be met. Differentiated services is seen as a possible solution to the bandwidth problem. Currently, however, the technology used on the Internet differentiates neither between users, nor between applications. The thesis focuses on current and anticipated bandwidth shortages on the Internet, and on the lack of a differentiated service. The aim is to identify methods of managing bandwidth and to investigate how these bandwidth management methods can be used to provide a differentiated service. The scope of the study is limited to networks using both Ethernet technology and the Internet Protocol (IP). Tile study is significant because it addresses current problems confronted by network managers. The key terms, Quality of Service (QoS) and bandwidth management, are defined. “QoS” is equated to a differentiating system. Bandwidth management is defined as any method of controlling and allocating bandwidth. "Installing more capacity" is taken to be a method of bandwidth management. The review of literature concentrates on Ethernet/IP networks. It begins with a detailed examination of definitions and interpretations of the term "Quality of Service" and shows how the meaning changed over the last decade. The review then examines congestion control, including a survey of queuing methods. Priority queuing implemented in hardware is examined in detail, followed by a review of the ReSource reserVation Protocol (RSVP) and a new version of IP (lPv6). Finally, the new standards IEEE 802.1p and IEEE 802.1Q are outlined, and parts of ISO/IEC 15802-3 are analysed. The Integrated Services Architecture (ISA), Differentiated Services (DiffServ) and MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) are seen as providing a theoretical framework for QoS development. The Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model (OSI model) is chosen as the preferred framework for investigating bandwidth management because it is more comprehensive than the alternative US Department of Defence Model (DoD model). A case study of the Edith Cowan University (ECU) data network illustrates current practice in network management. It provides concrete examples of some of the problems, methods and solutions identified in the literary review. Bandwidth management methods are identified and categorised based on the OSI layers in which they operate. Suggestions are given as to how some of these bandwidth management methods are, or can be used within current QoS architectures. The experimental work consists of two series of tests on small, experimental LANs. The tests are aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of IEEE 802.1 p prioritisation. The results suggest that in small Local Area Networks (LANs) prioritisation provides no benefit when Ethernet switches are lightly loaded.

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