Re-using information from data transactions for maintaining statistics in network monitoring

CAFC
  • US 6,839,751 B1
  • Filed: 06/30/2000
  • Issued: 01/04/2005
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/30/2000
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method of analyzing a flow of packets passing through a connection point on a computer network, the method comprising:

  • (a) receiving a packet from a packet acquisition device coupled to the connection point;

    (b) for each received packet, looking up a flow-entry database for containing one or more flow-entries for previously encountered conversational flows, the looking up to determine if the received packet is of an existing flow, a conversational flow including an exchange of a sequence of one or more packets in any direction between two network entities as a result of a particular activity using a particular layered set of one or more network protocols, a conversational flow further having a set of one or more states, including an initial state;

    (c) if the packet is of an existing flow, identifying the last encountered state of the flow, performing any state operations specified for the state of the flow, and updating the flow-entry of the existing flow including storing one or more statistical measures kept in the flow-entry; and

    d) if the packet is of a new flow, performing any state operations required for the initial state of the new flow and storing a new flow-entry for the new flow in the flow-entry database, including storing one or more statistical measures kept in the flow-entry, wherein every packet passing though the connection point is received by the packet acquisition device, andwherein at least one step of the set consisting of of step (a) and step (b) includes identifying the protocol being used in the packet from a plurality of protocols at a plurality of protocol layer levels,such that the flow-entry database is to store flow entries for a plurality of conversational flows using a plurality of protocols, at a plurality of layer levels, including levels above the network layer.

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