A Scalable Middleware-Based Active Network Architecture for Next Generation Communications
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
In conventional data communication networks, the basic network components such as workstations and routers are passive, in which routing decisions are made solely on the basis of the packet header information. In contrast, active networks allow the specification of complex processing instructions at all participating intermediate network routers, providing the on–demand installation of complex network services. As an adaptation of previous active networks, this report introduces an architecture based entirely in middleware, providing an extensive distributed communications framework. The utilisation of middleware services resolve security, optimisation, and memory-management issues otherwise assumed as inherent, and enables a simple yet highly functional multiple–language interface for the deployment of dynamic protocols. After describing the architectural design, an empirical system evaluation is presented with comparisons to both conventional network protocols, and a well–known existing active network architecture. Results indicate performance improvements over the existing architecture, and identify scenarios where active networks can out–perform the capabilities of their conventional counterparts.