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Service circuit allocation in large networks

Info

Publication number
CA2123347C
CA2123347C CA 2123347 CA2123347A CA2123347C CA 2123347 C CA2123347 C CA 2123347C CA 2123347 CA2123347 CA 2123347 CA 2123347 A CA2123347 A CA 2123347A CA 2123347 C CA2123347 C CA 2123347C
Authority
CA
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
service
circuits
call
circuit
control
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
CA 2123347
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
CA2123347A1 (en )
Inventor
Alessandro Ludovico Isidoro
Vikram Punj
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
AT&T Corp
Original Assignee
AT&T Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04QSELECTING
    • H04Q3/00Selecting arrangements
    • H04Q3/0016Arrangements providing connection between exchanges

Abstract

An arrangement for pooling service circuits so that they become available to a plurality of switching systems in a telecommunications network. Aregional control node receives a request for a service circuit to be connected to a call.
The regional control node maintains the availability status of the service circuits in a pool for the region. In response to a request for a service circuit, the regional control node selects an appropriate circuit and transmits order to the switches and the circuit to establish the proper connections among these units in order to associate the service circuit with the requesting call. Advantageously, such an arrangement permits a large pool of individually expensive service circuits to serve a largenumber of switching systems, thus, increasing the efficiency of utilization of these service circuits. The arrangement is also used for controlling the allocation oftransmission resources to any call, thus optimizing the use of the regional transmission resources.

Description

~i~3~ 7 SERVICE CIRCUIT ALLOCATION IN LARGE NETWORKS

Technical Field This invention relates to arrangements for pooling and allocating service circuits to teleco,."""n;cation calls, especially those calls requiring service circuits 5 which are not available at the switches used in the primary connections.
Problem As teleco""~ ic~tion services become increasingly complex, they frequently require the use of one or more auxiliary service circuits. Examples of such service circuits are confel~. ce bridges for voice, for video, broadcast bridges 10 for one-way video, for f~simil-~, or control circuits and data links for ~cessing value added servers for network based services using layers 4-7 of the Tntern~tiona Standards Org~ni7~tion (ISO) protocol stack; the latter would include access to Library of Congress data, electronic r,c~ , shop at home ne~wul~s, etc. In the past, this type of situation has not been a problem since the service circuits were 15 sufficiently ine~,n~ive that a group of such circuits adequate to serve the needs of a switching system were normally provided in that ~wilchillg system. However, someof the service circuits discussed are quite expens*e (for example, High Definidon Television (HDTV), video confel~ince bridges) so that it is necess~ry to have especially efficient use of such circuits, an efficiency usually obtainable only through 20 the use of large groups of these circuits. Individual ~wilches cannot use such large groups economically. More generally, the ~llocation of tr~n~mi~ion resources (bandwidth, individual trunks) even for calls not r~uiling the use of specialized expensive service circuits is not opLi"lum in prior art teleco",l~ -ir~tions nelwo,~s.
Solution In accordance with the principles of our invention, service circuits are available to a group of ~wil~;hing ~y~Lelns through a mechanism which offers a centralized control of the allocation of these service circuits. In one specificembodi~ nt of the invention, a regional master allocator and control, known as aRegional Control Node (RCN), receives requests for these service circuits and 30 allocates individual service circuits to the requesting calls for all calls in that region compri~ing a plurality of swilching systems. The RCN relies on a topology manager and a resource manager to select an available service circuit. The resource manager is informed when a service circuit becomes available, initially when the circuit is placed in service, thereafter because of a cûmpletiûn of a co""--l~ication or because 35 the service circuit is no longer needed in a particular co~ unication, and thus is able 212~347 to mAintain the busy/idle status and the quantity of resources (e.g., bandwidth used by each of the service circuits. Similarly, the topology manager has a map of the network topology. This includes a map of all ~witcl cs, crossconnect systems, and service circuits, as well as connectivity including the number of links required to 5 access the service circuits and trunk groups needed to access these circuits. The RCN manages a plurality of groups of different service circuits, for example, CDquality audio conference bridges, HDTV video conf~lence bridges, video broadcastservers, etc., and can allocate several service circuits to a particular co"""~"-ication.
This is particularly useful for multi-media calls that need dirr~ . t resources for a 10 call, and/or need dirre~ t sets of lesources at dir~nt stages of the call. It is also possible to optimize the call by routing connections over dirr~,.enl paths to dirr~ t bridges. Advantageously, since the RCN ...Ai..~;n~ data of the availability of service circuits, complex connection will not be established unless all key service circuits are not available. Advantageously, this arrAngem~nt allows a large pool of service 15 circuits to serve a plurality of switches. Advantageously, individual service circuits can be added in such a way as to benefit all ~wilching ~y~l~,ms of a region.
Advantageously, because the dynamic network topology is centrally controlled, chAnging traffic patterns will affect circuit availability minimAlly. Advantageously, this arrangement decouples the expensive service circuits from host swil~;hes both in 20 control and function thus making them equally available to all the switches of a region. Advantageously, the regional control node can take advantage of very high speed and/or massively parallel processors to control a large number of service circuits in conjunction with a large nulll~l of calls without affecting the capacity of the ~witches served by the regional control node. Advantageously, very high speed 25 co..~ -irAtion links can be used to connect the service circuits via asynchronous transfer mode tATM) crosscomlect sysl~ms (not full function switches) to a plurality of network ~witches, even though the ATM crossconneel has provisioned permanent virtual circuits, i.e., effectively trunk groups, bandwidth is only used when the virtual circuits become active and is only used to the extent that the virtual circuits 30 require the bandwidth. Advantageously, this an~ngement allows orderly and mo~nlar growth in the number of service circuits provided for a region without requiring that the traffic p~ lS of the region be taken into accou--l.
Advantageously, this arrangement is able to react to sudden surges in dçrn~n~i for the service circuits in one or more of the ~witches in the region because the pool of 35 service circuits is available to all the switches. More generally, the RCN is used to m~int~in records of the availability of tran~mi~sion resources and to allocate them ~ ~ ~3~47 for telecommunication calls as needed. Advantageously, this arrangement providesfor a centralized, therefore more optimum, allocation of such resources.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided in a regional telecommunications network, apparatus for associating members of a common pool of service circuits to a call served by any of a plurality of switching systems of said regional network, comprising: plurality of service circuits, in said common pool, each connectable to at least two of said plurality of switching systems; and a regional control node for selecting any of said plurality of service circuits and for controlling a connection of a selected service circuit to a call on any of said switching systems of said regional telecommunications network;
wherein said regional control node selects said any service circuit using a topology manager to minimi7e resource use for connecting the selected service circuit to said call.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of allocating a service circuit for a call, comprising the steps of:
storing and updating, in a regional control node, availability data for a pool of service circuits serving a region; responsive to a request from any of a plurality of switching systems of said region, for a service circuit, selecting an available one of said pool of service circuits for serving said call; and controlling establishment of call connections between the selected service circuit and said call from said regional control node; wherein the step of selecting comprises: consulting a topology manager of said regional control node to minimi7e resource utilization for connecting the selected service circuit to the call.
Drawin~ Description FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating the operation of applicants' invention;
FIG. 2 is a more detailed block diagram of a regional control node used for implementing applicants' invention;
FIG. 3 is a diagram showing the interconnections between service 30 circuits and switches; and FIG. 4 is a flow diagram illustrating the operation of applicants' invention.

-3a- ~2 ~ 2 ~ 3 4 7 Detailed Description FIG. I is a block diagram illustrating the operation of applicants' invention. The diagram is simplified to show only a single customer station, a single access switch, and a single tandem switch, although in practice a plurality of such 5 customer stations, access switches, and tandem switches would be involved in acomplex conference communication arrangement. The dashed lines are logical data links interconnecting two units for control information, and the solid lines represent communication signal flow, i.e., the voice and data signal path. A customer station 10 is connected to an access via an access switch 12 and a tandem switch 14 to one 10 or more service circuits of which two types service circuit A 16 and service circuit B
18 are shown. Crossconnect systems (not shown) are usually placed between the access and tandem switches and, as shown in FIG. 3, between the tandem switches and the service circuits. A plurality of service circuits of type A and of type B are also shown. Service circuit A could be a very high fidelity (CD quality) audio 15 bridge and service circuit B could be a high definition TV (HDTV) video bridge.
Another example (not shown) is the control circuit for providing layer 4-7 control of access to a value added server, and the data link, if any, necessary to connect the control circuit to the accessed server. These types of service circuits are veryexpensive and therefore should be utilized as efficiently as possible. In accordance 20 with the principles of this invention, such service circuits are provided in a pool on a regional basis so that a large number of service circuits is made available in common to all the switches of the region. The control of the use of the service circuits resides in a regional control node I which is connected via logical data links to the access switch which terminates signalling from customer premises equipment, such25 as customer station 10, the access switches, tandem switches and the service 2I233'1 7 circuits under consideration. The logical data links are comprised of switchablyinterconnected physical links.
FIG. 2 shows details of the regional control node. The control node is accessed via a data link. Software for interfacing with the data link is the signaling 5 agent 203. This agent co,-,,.,~ ic~tes with the call manager 205 which is responsible for controlling the processes for adding and releasing l~sources such as the pooled service circuits to individual calls. The call m~n~gçr m~int~in~ data describing the state of each call involving control by the regional control node. When the callmanager recognizes that a resource, such as the service circuit, must be added to or 10 disconnected from a call, it co.~ icates a request to the connection manager 207.
The connection manager first det~rmines the affected connections in the call andrequests the seizure or release of a resource from the resource m~n~gçr 209. Theesource manager consults availability tables, such as the CD quality audio bridge table 213 and the HDTV video bridge table 215, to determine which service circuits 15 are available for m~eting the request from the connçction manager and consults topology manager 211 which consults the topology table 217 to ~letermine which of the available service circuits use the fewest links between the service and the switch to which the service circuit is to be connecte~l The resource manager selects the apprupliate service circuit and marks it unavailable in one of the tables 213,...,215 20 and informs the connection manager 207. The connection manager determines themessages to be sent to the switches and the service circuits in order to establish the ap~ ;ate connection and passes this information to the call manager. The call manager updates its record of the call and sends the mçss~ges for causing the network connections to be established to the si~n~ling agent 203 which distributes 25 these messages via data link 201 to the ap~lupliate switches and service circuits.
While this descli~tion has shown tables, more general data bases can be used in a more general case for keeping track of availability, resource use, and topology. The topology manager is consulted before selecting an available service circuit as the most expeditious way of selecting an optimum available service circuit.
FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing the inl~,collllections between switches and service circuits. The service circuits and ~witches are each connected to an ATM crossconnect unit 300. This crossconnect unit has recorded in its m~.lllUly the identific~tion of virtual paths for int~onAec~-g a connected service circuit with a connected switch or another connected ATM crossconnect unit 300.
35 a particular connection is to be established, say bel~-,. n the service circuit and a switch, then the service circuit and switch are requested to lla.~ it and receive over the virtual path used for this connection. If the connection requires an inter-crossconnect connection, then the service circuit is initi~li7ed to transmit and receive over a virtual path connected to the other crossconnect unit. If the service circuit in fact services a call using two or more switches, then the service circuit can bes initi~li7~1 with the identification of the permanent virtual circuit paths necessary for reaching both of these switches. Advantageously, as the need arises for additional tr~n~mi~ion bandwidth beL~ two nodes, the operation to provide this bandwidth is straighLrol~dnl; only a few connection orders need be sent to the switches and crossconnect systems. Note that FIG. 3 is a logical diagram of the intercolmections.
10 In practice, each service circuit 16 is likely to have a single physical connection to the crossconnect unit 300 and this physical connection can be used for accessing any physical output of the crossconnect unit. Similarly, the switches 14 may only have a single connection to the crossconnect system 300, again, for accessing any output of the crossconnect unit. For multi-media services, dirrti~ t types of service circuits are 15 conn~cted to a call through dirr~l.,n~ ATM crossconnect virtual paths.
FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of the actions y~,lrolllled by the regional control node. The particular example relates to the addition of resources, such as a service circuit, to a call; the actions for release of resources or initial creation of a call are essçnti~lly the same. The process is started when a mçss~ge is received from a 20 ~;u~.lulll~ via a logical data link from the customer's station 10. A message in this specific embodiment is a Q.93B mess~ge which is received over data link 201 by the ~ign~ling agent 203 (action block 401). The call manager and the connection manager ~et-~rmine what call and connectional objects (or equivalents of objects in ~ltPrn~te formal descliptions) will be affected by the request based on the data25 ...~inl~;nç~l by the call m~n~gçr concerning the present state of the call and the connechon m~n~g~r based on the resources requested (action block 403). The r~,sou~ manager in conjullelion with the topology m--anager queries the list of available lesoul~,es of the type requested and selects the most ay~luyliate one based on infollllalion from the topology manager. The topology manager also has 30 infcnllla~ion for selecting an OPLil11U111 trunk to com-e~l a service circuit; this inrc,llll~ion is used by the cûnneclion manager in controlling establishm-ont ofconnections. This illfolll~lion is plesellted to the connection manager which form~ tes the connection orders (action block 407). These order are then tr~nsmitte~l to the affected units such as the service circuits and the switches (action 35 block 409) under the control of the sign~ling agent. The resource manager then updates the resource usage tables (i.e., the availabili~ data of each of the service 2 1 2 3 3 L~, ~

circuits) (action block 411). The call manager updates its record of the call configuration and connectivity topology of the call (action block 411). The signaling agent is informed of the changes so that it can inform the customer station of the change in the call configuration (action block 415). The call control is informed of 5 changes in the call configuration (action block 417) or of the creation of a new call so that it can update its own call state tables. At this point the call configuration has been established in accordance with the customer's request. Now, the ~i~n~ling agent informs the calling and called parties that their request has been met.
The basic program described in FIG. 4 can be used for adding and 10 subtracting legs and service circuits from and to a call and can be used to update the availability tables in the RCN.
More generally, this arrangement is also used to allocate and control connection to tr~n~mi~sion resources (bandwidth between nodes, individual trunks) to a call; the centralized allocation and control provides for a more op~imulll use of 15 these resources, based on the needs of the entire regional teleco.. ---ni~tions network, than is possible in the prior art distributed control of such r~soulces.
It is to be understood that the above description is only of one plerell~d embodiment of the invention. Numerous other arr~ngem~nts may be devised by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention. The invention is 20 thus limited only as defined in the accoll~anyhlg claims.

Claims (6)

1. In a regional telecommunications network, apparatus for associating members of a common pool of service circuits to a call served by any of a plurality of switching systems of said regional network, comprising:
plurality of service circuits, in said common pool, each connectable to at least two of said plurality of switching systems; and a regional control node for selecting any of said plurality of service circuits and for controlling a connection of a selected service circuit to a call on any of said switching systems of said regional telecommunications network;
wherein said regional control node selects said any service circuit using a topology manager to minimize resource use for connecting the selected service circuit to said call.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said resource use is minimized by selecting a service circuit connectable to said call using a minimum number of links.
3. A method of allocating a service circuit for a call, comprising the steps of:
storing and updating, in a regional control node, availability data for a pool of service circuits serving a region;
responsive to a request from any of a plurality of switching systems of said region, for a service circuit, selecting an available one of said pool of service circuits for serving said call; and controlling establishment of call connections between the selected service circuit and said call from said regional control node;
wherein the step of selecting comprises:
consulting a topology manager of said regional control node to minimize resource utilization for connecting the selected service circuit to the call.
4. A method of allocating a service circuit for a call, comprising the steps of:
storing and updating, in a regional control node, availability data for a pool of service circuits serving a region;
responsive to a request from any of a plurality of switching systems of said region, for a service circuit, selecting an available one of said pool of service circuits for serving said call; and controlling establishment of call connections between the selected service circuit and said call from said regional control node;
wherein the step of selecting comprises selecting at least two different types of service circuits for serving a multi-media call;
wherein call connections of at least two of said different types of service circuits use paths via different ones of said switching systems of said region.
5. In a regional telecommunications network comprising a plurality of nodes, apparatus for allocating transmission resources to a call served by any of a plurality of switching systems at ones of said nodes of said regional network, comprising:
a plurality of transmission resources for interconnecting pairs of said nodes of said network;
a regional control node for selecting ones of said plurality of transmission resources and for controlling a connection of a selected transmission resource to a call on said regional telecommunications network;
wherein said regional control node selects said transmission resources for said call using a topology manager to minimize transmission resource use for said call.
6. A method of allocating transmission resources of a regional telecommunications network to a call, comprising the steps of:
maintaining, in a regional control node, availability data for said transmission resources for interconnecting nodes of said network;
responsive to a request from any switching system of said region, for a transmission resource, selecting an available transmission resource for serving said call; and controlling establishment of call connections using said selected transmission resource from said regional control node;
wherein the step of selecting comprises consulting a topology manager of said regional control node to minimize transmission resource use forsaid call.
CA 2123347 1993-10-12 1994-05-11 Service circuit allocation in large networks Expired - Fee Related CA2123347C (en)

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US135,106 1993-10-12
US08135106 US5440563A (en) 1993-10-12 1993-10-12 Service circuit allocation in large networks

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CA2123347C true CA2123347C (en) 1998-07-14

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CN (1) CN1110461A (en)
CA (1) CA2123347C (en)
EP (1) EP0658062A3 (en)

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CN1110461A (en) 1995-10-18 application
EP0658062A2 (en) 1995-06-14 application
JPH07177147A (en) 1995-07-14 application
EP0658062A3 (en) 1997-04-09 application
US5440563A (en) 1995-08-08 grant
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