Failure Spread in Redundant UMTS Core Network

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Failure Spread in Redundant
UMTS Core Network
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Author: Tuomas Erke, Helsinki
University of Technology
Supervisor: Timo Korhonen, Professor
of Telecommunication Systems (S72)
[email protected]
30.9.2003
Table of Contents
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Background
Terminology
Problem Setting
Used Methodology
Results of the Study
Conclusions
Future Work
Background
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Fixed networks have been built reliable, but the
reliability of mobile networks have been given less
attention
Enhanced services (e.g. telemedicine applications)
and escalated competition between main market
players over new subscribers is about to change this
in the near future
In fixed networks, outages involving a large number
of people must be reported. This may be extended to
mobile networks in future also
Terminology (1/4)
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Availability: A probability that the system will be functioning correctly at any
given time
Failure: The impact of the faults and errors seen by user (SW program crash)
Fault Tree Analysis (FTA): A top-down method of analyzing system design and
performance. Specifies a top event followed by identifying all of the associated
elements in the system that can cause the top event to occur
Failure Spread: A failure occurs in some part(s) of the system, and propagates
to other part(s) of the system
Fault Tolerance: A capability of the system to withstand and handle faults
Media Gateway (MGW): a network node in UMTS core network, which is used
to interconnect networks
Redundancy: Availability of unit(s) and mechanisms for taking over failed unit(s)
Reliability: The capability of and item to carry out certain functionality in a
certain period of time in certain conditions, or a probability that it will
Terminology (2/4)
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Fault is connected to physical world (electronic components confront faults after
a period of time), but it also includes mistakes made in design (incomplete
system architecture) or implementation (programming mistakes) of the system
Error has an impact on information (error in data processing)
Failure is the impact of the faults and errors seen by user (SW program crash)
Terminology (3/4)
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There are different types of failures:
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Sudden, when failure cannot be predicted (nondeterministic software based
problems)
Gradual, when failure can be predicted with prior examination (hardware wearout increases probability of a failure over a period of time)
Partial when failure affects only some parts of the system (only one network
node)
Complete when failure has an impact on the whole system (complete network)
Catastrophic when failure is both sudden and complete (power-system failure)
Degradation failures are gradual and partial (HW component wear-out over
time)
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Terminology (4/4)
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Standby redundancy (triggered only
when the other unit fails)
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Parallel redundancy (frequently used in
telecom networks)
Problem Setting (1/2)
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Effect of failures in UMTS CN is studied in the thesis,
and how redundancy mechanisms may be used in
the network to increase availability and decrease the
effect of failures
Area has not been widely studied before, but some
work related to node failures exists
Network reliability has been studied, and this thesis
compares results from the other studies and
proposes solution alternatives
Problem Setting (2/2)
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Failures occur in various parts of the system:
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Node failure (HLR database failure results in unavailability of permanent user
data if no redundant component and mechanism is available)
Protocol failures (wrong implementation or design), results in overload of
network elements or signaling links, or faulty interaction between network nodes.
For instance, wrong use of broadcasting messages, which leads to overload at
the receiving side
HW failures (bus/circuitry failures/memory corruption, results in HW either
malfunctioning or failing)
Recovery triggering mechnanisms (changeover procedure failures, DSP
device manager failures or other triggering failures)
Load sharing algorithm (ineffective use of resources, exceeding the capacity
of the system before taking action or wrong resource sharing on right network
nodes)
HW/SW update procedure failures, which leads to faulty configurations and
interworking of network elements
Wrong network configuration (often because of complex network design)
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Used Methodology (1/3)
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Failures are considered to occur on different levels:
Used Methodology (2/3)
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A partly redundant example network is studied in the
thesis
A tree format FTA (Fault-tree Analysis) is used for
analyzing the causes of failures. FTA is mainly
applied in SW reliability area
A literature study is performed to find mechanisms for
achieving a higher level of system reliability
Used Methodology (3/3)
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Example network configuration
Results of the Study (1/3)
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The chain between fault detection, localization,
analysis and recovery must be unbroken, otherwise
failures cannot be recovered completely
Redundancy must be applied in different levels of the
system for achieving high level of fault-tolerance
(system is as strong as its weakest component)
SW fault-tolerance is increased by building
distributed, reliable and scalable SW
The critical network nodes have to be duplicated, and
restoration algorithms must be available
Results of the Study (2/3)
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Emphasis on profound system testing (and especially
testing of fault recovery mechanisms, load control
and different failure scenarios)
SW based mechanisms include:
Distributed SW architecture (a failure of one component involves a smaller
fraction of the system, so the loss of data and resources can be recovered in a
better way). A fault can be isolated to a smaller area when the architecture is
distributed
Multithreaded protocol stacks so that a failure of a process involves only part
of the module capabilities, and the SW modules use dynamic checkpointing
protocols for recovering from failure of peer entities
Optimization of the recovery process time to its minimum (only necessary
part of the system is restarted: processor, board or node restart. This reduces
the outage time)
A blackbox for SW failure analysis can be implemented inside SW
components for later analysis
Results of the Study(3/3)
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Dynamic routing and meshed network architecture is
a recommendable solution (Advantage: high
tolerance for the network failures and adaptability to
different network configurations. Disadvantage:
complicated design and maintenance of the network)
Reliability of the network is an optimization problem,
but investing on redundant HW now can be used in
future to increase the capacity of the system if
needed
Multifunction devices, MSC in Pool, Multihoming and
special algorithms may be utilized to increase
reliability of the system
Conclusions
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Different redundancy mechanisms were discussed in
this thesis and existing algorithms were compared
Seems like the network design trend goes towards
smaller, adaptable network nodes and architecture
The reliability of the system is best achieved by using
multiple levels of redundancy
Failure spread depends on the availability and
workability of the methods for ensuring the reliability
of the system
Future Work
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OPEX (OPerating EXpenses) and CAPEX (CApital
EXpenses) calculations for network architecture
solutions
Testing of failure recovery mechanisms and effect of
failures using real network or a simulated
environment
Multiple simultaneous failures have only been
handled partly in this thesis. More research needs to
be performed on the subject (e.g. for tolerating of
geographical catastrophe involving large number of
network nodes)
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