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A stats solution

Handling network statistics operations with an external engine. By Jeremy Bicknell.

Over the next few years, network equipment designers will have to deal with greater processing and memory demands for statistical operations. Using traditional architectures to address this task will cause a bottleneck. In high performance network environments, specialised, off the shelf coprocessors optimised for the statistics function will offer a simple and convenient option.
As new services such as VoIP and network peering bring a need for higher line rates and increased network intelligence, designers have to find new ways to handle statistics operations with the minimum of processing overhead.
To support these service classes and to verify service level agreements (SLA), service providers must count packets and maintain an expanding set of statistics on network performance and usage. Maintaining per port network statistics for a desktop computer or mobile device requires negligible resources. However, the overhead for network equipment that aggregates a large number of users is very different.
In addition to the number of counters required, it is important to consider the effect of both aggregate data rate and traffic type on the counter update rates.

Graham Pitcher

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