- A Model for User Based IP Traffic Accounting (2007)
- Nowadays, accounting, charging and billing users' network resource consumption are commonly used for the purpose of facilitating reasonable network usage, controlling congestion, allocating cost, gaining revenue, etc. In traditional IP traffic accounting systems, IP addresses are used to identify the corresponding consumers of the network resources. However, there are some situations in which IP addresses cannot be used to identify users uniquely, for example, in multi-user systems. In these cases, network resource consumption can only be ascribed to the owners of these hosts instead of corresponding real users who have consumed the network resources. Therefore, accurate accountability in these systems is practically impossible. This is a flaw of the traditional IP address based IP traffic accounting technique. This dissertation proposes a user based IP traffic accounting model which can facilitate collecting network resource usage information on the basis of users. With user based IP traffic accounting, IP traffic can be distinguished not only by IP addresses but also by users. In this dissertation, three different schemes, which can achieve the user based IP traffic accounting mechanism, are discussed in detail. The inband scheme utilizes the IP header to convey the user information of the corresponding IP packet. The Accounting Agent residing in the measured host intercepts IP packets passing through it. Then it identifies the users of these IP packets and inserts user information into the IP packets. With this mechanism, a meter located in a key position of the network can intercept the IP packets tagged with user information, extract not only statistic information, but also IP addresses and user information from the IP packets to generate accounting records with user information. The out-of-band scheme is a contrast scheme to the in-band scheme. It also uses an Accounting Agent to intercept IP packets and identify the users of IP traffic. However, the user information is transferred through a separated channel, which is different from the corresponding IP packets' transmission. The Multi-IP scheme provides a different solution for identifying users of IP traffic. It assigns each user in a measured host a unique IP address. Through that, an IP address can be used to identify a user uniquely without ambiguity. This way, traditional IP address based accounting techniques can be applied to achieve the goal of user based IP traffic accounting. In this dissertation, a user based IP traffic accounting prototype system developed according to the out-of-band scheme is also introduced. The application of user based IP traffic accounting model in the distributed computing environment is also discussed.