(19)
(11)EP 2 343 867 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
13.07.2011 Bulletin 2011/28

(21)Application number: 10015787.4

(22)Date of filing:  17.12.2010
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H04L 29/08  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 12.01.2010 US 686029

(71)Applicant: Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ)
164 83 Stockholm (SE)

(72)Inventors:
  • Mihály, Attila
    Dunakeszi 2120 (HU)
  • Tóth, Zoltán
    Sárbogárd 7000 (HU)

(74)Representative: Röthinger, Rainer 
Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Schweigerstrasse 2
81541 München
81541 München (DE)

  


(54)System and method of reducing intranet traffic on bottleneck links in a telecommunications network


(57) A system, method and node of masquerading remote hosts at the remote end of the bottleneck link without breaking layer 2 transparency using a cache mechanism. A local edge node stores specified objects of the remote host. Upon request of an initiator host, the edge node sends the stored object to the initiator host without requiring the transfer of the object from the remote host. The present invention also provides for the election of a Local Master Browser (LMB). The method consists of electing one LMB for spreading information for each LAN segment, instead of having one such global node for the entire LAN. The present invention elects one local LMB for each LAN segment, rather than using one global LMB node.


Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] The present invention relates to communications networks. More particularly, and not by way of limitation, the present invention is directed to a system and method of reducing intranet traffic on bottleneck links in a telecommunications network. To provide interconnectivity in multi-site private networks, VPN tunnels must generally be set up between sites that will guarantee separation of the traffic from other traffic on the Internet or the connectivity provider's network. In order to simplify network provisioning for the access of remote devices, these tunnels may be layer-2 transparent tunnels, such as EtherIP or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).

[0002] Most current networks deploy personal computers and servers running Microsoft Windows and are often referred to as "Microsoft Windows Network". These networks use an application-level network protocol called Server Message Block (SMB) to provide shared access to files, printers, serial ports, and miscellaneous communications between the nodes in the network. SMB also provides an authenticated Inter-process communication mechanism.

[0003] In addition, there are other schemes available for non-Windows based computers to be part of Microsoft Windows networking. For example, Samba is a free software re-implementation of Service Message Block/Common Internet File System (SMB/CIFS) networking protocol. Samba, is a suite of programs running under UNIX-like operating systems that provide seamless integration between UNIX and Windows computers. SMB clients also exist for Mac Operating System (OS). Local file access into a networked file system is also possible in pure Unix environment using Network File System (NFS) protocol or MAC OS using Apple Filing Protocol.

[0004] The problem with the above-mentioned protocols is that they are not optimized for efficient transport resource usage, resulting in a large number of exchanged protocol messages. Additionally, shared file access results in a large volume of traffic generated on a LAN. This becomes a problem when there is a bottleneck link on the network. An example of such a link is a WiFi connection between two buildings of the same company. Another example is the cellular link provided by a mobile operator in the Network As a Service (NAS) service.

[0005] Problems related to the broadcast traffic on a bottleneck link in a LAN environment is a known issue. For example, U.S. Patent No. 5,570,366 to Baker et al. discloses a method where an entity infers which network elements reside on either side of the bottleneck link and performs some filtering of the unnecessary broadcast traffic. However, a majority of the SMB and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) messages are unicast for which this particular method cannot be used.

[0006] Measurements show that latency has a significant impact on the performance of the SMB protocol. Monitoring reveals that this occurs most commonly in cases of navigating among directories through SMB when significant network latency exists between hosts. For example, a Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connection over the Internet will often introduce network latency, which is not desirable.

[0007] As discussed above, methods, such as proposed in U.S. Patent No. 5,570,366, may be used for reducing the broadcast traffic over the LAN. There are scenarios, however, when there is not much broadcast traffic related to SMB or other LAN protocols. For example, broadcast messages in SMB originate from the Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) service location protocol. By default, a Microsoft Windows server will use NetBIOS to advertise and locate services. NetBIOS actually functions by broadcasting services available on a particular host at regular intervals. While this usually provides for an acceptable default in a network with fewer than twenty hosts, broadcast traffic will cause problems as the number of hosts increases. A proper implementation of a NetBIOS Name Server (NBNS) can mitigate this problem. For example, Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) offers a suitable solution in Microsoft environments.

[0008] The potential problems related to transmitting a high volume of unicast SMB traffic (e.g., file sharing) over bottleneck links have been recognized also in International Publication No. WO/2003/102779. However, WO/2003/102779 discloses a host-based caching solution to solve the problem. This solution suffers from the disadvantage that there may be many hosts in the network of different types (hardware, operating system, etc.) that make the generic utilization of that method at least difficult, if not impossible, to implement. A system and method are needed which provides a new functionality in a single node that may reduce the traffic and improve characteristics for all hosts on a given LAN segment.

SUMMARY



[0009] The present invention is a system and method of reducing intranet traffic on bottleneck links in a telecommunications network. The present invention includes a method for reducing traffic between two LAN segments of a network where the link between two segments is a bottleneck link (e.g., a wireless link).

[0010] In one aspect, the present invention is directed at a method in a telecommunications network that reduces intranet traffic between two Local Area Network (LAN) segments. There is a bottleneck link between the LAN segments. An initiator host requests an object from a host at a remote end of the bottleneck link and the request is sent to the remote host via an edge node.

[0011] The traffic on the bottleneck link may be such that the remote host needs to be masqueraded. Masquerading the remote host comprises the edge node substituting the edge node's address for the remote host and sending it to the initiator host instead fo the remote host address.

[0012] The edge node then verifies whether the requested object, on the remote host, is up to date and stored in a cache associated with the edge node. If the requested object is stored in the edge node cache, the edge node sends the up to date object to the requesting initiator node. If the requested object in the cache is not up to date, the edge node retrieves the up to date object from the remote host, stores it in the cache and sends the up to date requested object to the initiator host.

[0013] In another aspect, the present invention is directed at a system in a telecommunications network, for reducing intranet traffic between two Local Area Network (LAN) segments where a link between the two LAN segments is a bottleneck link.

[0014] An initiator host sends a request for an object from a host at a remote end (remote host) of the bottleneck link and this request is sent to the remote host via an edge node. The edge node has a means of checking the traffic in the bottleneck link and in order to keep the traffic down, The edge node monitors the traffic in the bottle neck link and if the link requires the remote host to be masqueraded, the edge node sends the edge node address to the initiator host instead of the remote host address. Then the object requested by the initiator host and also stored in an edge node cache, is checked to make sure the requested object is up to date.

[0015] If the requested object is up to date, the edge node sends the requested object from the cache. However, it the requested object is not up to date, the edge node retrieves an up to date object from the remote node, stores it in the edge node's cache and sends the up to date object to the initiator host.

[0016] In still another aspect, the present invention is directed at an edge node in a telecommunications network, for reducing intranet traffic between two Local Area Network (LAN) segments where a link between the two LAN segments is a bottleneck link means for receiving from an initiator host a request for an object from a host at a remote end (remote host) of the bottleneck link and sending the request to the remote host. However, the edge node has checks the traffic on the bottleneck link to determine whether the remote host needs to be masqueraded.

[0017] If the remote host needs to be masqueraded, the edge node responds to the request from the initiator host by sending the edge node address instead of the remote host address. The edge node then checks to make sure the requested object is up to date and stored in the edge node cache. If the object is up to date, the edge node sends the object to the initiator node. If the object is not up to date, the edge node retrieves the up to date object from the remote host and sends the up to date object to the initiator host.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0018] In the following section, the invention will be described with reference to exemplary embodiments illustrated in the figures, in which:
FIG. 1
is a simplified block diagram of a telecommunications system in one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2
is a simplified block diagram illustrating the process of downloading a remote object which does not exist in the cache of the local edge node;
FIG. 3
is a simplified block diagram illustrating the process of downloading a remote object which exists in the local cache;
FIGs. 4A and 4B
are flowcharts illustrating the steps of the method of transferring a request object from a remote host according to the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 5
is a signalling diagram illustrating the procedure of downloading a remote object which does not exist in the cache of the local edge node;
FIG. 6
is a signalling diagram illustrating the procedure of downloading a remote object which exists in the cache of the local edge node;
FIG. 7
is a simplified block diagram illustrating LMB election where the LMB is operating in a network; and
FIG. 8
is a flowchart illustrating the steps of Local Master Brower election in another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0019] In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, components and circuits have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the present invention.

[0020] The present invention is a system and method of reducing intranet traffic on bottleneck links in a telecommunications network. The present invention includes a method for reducing traffic between two LAN segments of a network where the link between two segments is a bottleneck link (e.g., a wireless link). The term 'edge node' refers to a node connecting to the bottleneck link. The present invention provides traffic reduction between the LAN segments whereby the edge nodes masquerade the remote file server(s) at the remote end of the bottleneck link without breaking layer 2 transparency using a cache mechanism. In another embodiment, the present invention provides a method to save bandwidth where there is a designated Local Control Node for spreading information about the hosts in the network. The method consists of electing one local control node for spreading information for each LAN segment, instead of having one such global node for the entire LAN. The SMB defines such a designated host as a Local Master Browser (LMB), which stores name and address information about the hosts in the whole network. According to the default behavior of SMB, there is one such LMB node on the entire Intranet. The LMB is elected automatically by the hosts.

[0021] In a first embodiment of the present invention, the edge nodes masquerade the remote file server(s) at the remote end of the bottleneck link, without breaking layer 2 transparency, using a cache mechanism. "Masquerading" a remote host is where an edge node emulates a host along with the emulated host's shared files in the local LAN segment, while hiding the original host's address and location. This is accomplished in two steps. First, the edge node identifies itself as the remote host upon request. Second, the edge node stores requested shared files of the remote host in a cache.

[0022] FIG. 1 is a high level block diagram of a telecommunications system 10 in one embodiment of the present invention. The system includes a plurality of hosts 12, 14, and 16. As depicted, host 12 is an initiator host and host 16 is a remote host. Hosts 12 and 14 communicate through a switch 18 to an edge node 20. The edge node 20 has a cache 22. The edge node 20 communicates with the remote host 16 through a switch 24. The number and configuration of the various components of the system 100 may vary from the system depicted in FIG. 1 and still remain within the scope of the present invention. There are several options for selecting the remote hosts which should be masqueraded by the edge node 20, e.g., by configuration in the edge node. In one embodiment, the edge node has a static list of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of all remote hosts that need to be masqueraded. If there's a dedicated file server in the network, it may be enough to masquerade only that particular host. The static configuration may be the only option for Network File System (NFS) or similar protocols, where the network hosts are not running an automatic host discovery protocol. The first step, however, can be accomplished automatically when using a host discovery mechanism, such as in SMB-based networks. In this case, each remote host may be considered a potential file server. Thus, the edge node may be able to masquerade all remote hosts. When the edge node receives a "searching for communication capable hosts" message originating from a local host, the edge node sends its own identification (e.g., IP address) on behalf of each remote host that needs to be masqueraded. In the second step, the data transfer requires the use of the local cache 22. In one embodiment, two communication sessions are established, one between the initiator host 12 and its local edge node 20, and another session between the edge node 20 and the masqueraded remote host 16. Upon each request of the initiator host (e.g., list of shared objects, file download, etc.), the edge node verifies the edge node's cache 22 for the remote host 16. This may be achieved, for example, by querying the remote host about the requested object's time stamp (e.g., last modification time), and checking if it matches the time stamp that the edge node possesses. If the cache is outdated or the edge node does not have the requested object, the edge node may download and store the object in the cache. Subsequently, after this object is stored in the cache, the requested object is sent to the initiator host 12.

[0023] FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram illustrating the process of downloading a remote object which does not exist in the cache 22 of the local edge node 20. First, the initiator host 12 requests host address information at 50. The edge node 20 then responds by sending a host address information response at 52. The edge node 20 also checks the cache 22 to determine if a requested object is present at 54. In this scenario, the cache does not have the requested object. The edge node then requests and receives the requested object for storage in its cache 22 at 56. The edge node then sends the requested object at 58.

[0024] FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram illustrating the process of downloading a remote object which exists in the local cache 22. First, the initiator host 12 requests host address information at 150. The edge node 20 then responds by sending a host address information response at 152. The edge node 20 also checks the cache 22 to determine if a requested object is present at 154. In this case, the cache has the requested object. Next, the edge node determines if the object stored in the cache 22 has the current timestamp of the object stored in the remote host 16 at 156. If the object is valid, the cache 22 then transfers the requested object through the edge node 22 at 158 to the initiator host 12. However, if the object in the cache is not valid, the edge node retrieves the object from the host 16 as discussed in FIG. 2.

[0025] FIGs. 4A and 4B are flowcharts illustrating the steps of the method of transferring a request object from a remote host according to the teachings of the present invention. With reference to FIGs. 1-4, the method will now be explained. In step 200, the initiator host 12 requests a remote object by sending a host address information request to the edge node 20. In step 202, the edge node 20 sends the host address information of the requested object to the initiator host 12. Next, in step 204, it is determined if the cache is storing the requested object. If it is determined that the cache is storing the requested object, the method moves to step 206 where it is determined if the object stored in the cache 22 is the most current object (i.e., the validity of the object). In one embodiment, the edge node verifies that the timestamp of the stored object in the cache matches the timestamp of the object in the remote host 16. If it is determined in step 206 that the stored object in the cache is outdated, the edge node retrieves an updated object for storage in the cache in step 208. Next, in step 210, the updated object stored in the cache is transferred to the initiator host 12.

[0026] However, in step 206, if it is determined that the object in the cache is the most current, the edge node sends the object stored in the cache to the initiator host 12 in step 212. In step 204, if it is determined that the cache does not have the requested object, the method moves to step 214 where the requested object is retrieved from the remote host 16 and stored in the cache 22. In step 216, the object is then sent from the edge node to the initiator host 12.

[0027] In one embodiment, the remote host may be masqueraded in a system using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. The SMB protocol defines a designated host called a Local Master Browser (LMB), which stores name and address information about the hosts in the network. According to the default behaviour of SMB, there is one LMB node for the entire Intranet. Typically, the LMB is elected automatically by the hosts. When browsing the network, the initiator host 12 may turn to the LMB first for the list of the available hosts in the network. The LMB sends the hosts' names upon the request, and the initiator host chooses a specified host for communication.

[0028] The procedure of "masquerading" a remote host may begin when the edge node 20 receives a host announcement message from a remote host 16 indicating the need to be masqueraded. The name and IP address of the remote host 16 is stored before forwarding the packet towards the LMB. In addition, storage space is allocated for the remote host. In the case when the edge node is also the LMB for the local LAN segment, there is no need to forward the announcement message. In the case where SMB is utilized, the identification of all remote hosts may be conducted automatically by the edge node.

[0029] When a host initiates a communication session with another node in the network, the host first requests address information. The SMB protocol utilizes a name resolution method, similarly to Domain Name System (DNS) to obtain the address information for the initiator host 12. The host 12 sends a broadcast message (e.g., name query) in order to obtain the IP address of the chosen host from its name.

[0030] For example, it is assumed that the requested host is masqueraded. In this case, the edge node responds to the address message request with its own IP address without forwarding the message to other LAN segments. Subsequently, the data transfer (e.g., the caching method discussed in FIGs. 2-4) is the same as discussed above. In general, two communication sessions are established, one between the initiator host and the edge node, and another one between the edge node and the masqueraded remote host. Upon each request of the initiator host, the edge node verifies the requested object's timestamp by querying the remote host. The edge node downloads and stores the requested object when needed, and finally sends it to the initiator host.

[0031] FIG. 5 is a signalling diagram illustrating the procedure of downloading a remote object which does not exist in the cache of the local edge node. In 250, a browse list transfer is conducted between an LMB 252 and a local host (initiator host) 254. A 'browse list' is simply a list of machine names on the LAN collected and stored in the LMB. When a new host boots on the LAN, it sends an announcement to the Local Master Browser so it is appended to the list. The announcement is repeated frequently, in the beginning, but settles down to once every 12 minutes. If the host is then turned off, the LMB waits for three announcement cycles before removing the host from the browse list. In 256, a broadcast message (e.g., Name Query) is sent and received by a local edge node 20. The edge node responds by sending a Name Query response at 258. A first open communication session is then established at 260 between the local host 254 and the edge node 20. Additionally, an open communication session 262 is established between the edge node 20 and the remote host 16. The local host 254 then requests a specified file (object) to the edge node 20 in 264. The edge node then checks to determine if the file is present in the cache at 266. In this depicted scenario, the edge node determines that the cache does not possess the requested file. Next, the edge node 20 requests the file from the remote host 16 in 268. A file transfer is then conducted from the remote host 16 to the edge node 20 at 270. The file is then stored in the cache 22 in 272. Next, the file is transferred from the edge node 20 to the local host 254 at 274.

[0032] FIG. 6 is a signalling diagram illustrating the procedure of downloading a remote object which exists in the cache 22 of the local edge node 20 according to an embodiment of the present invention. In 300, a browse list transfer is conducted between an LMB 252 and a local host (initiator host) 254. In 302, a broadcast message (e.g., Name Query) is sent and received by a local edge node 20. The edge node responds by sending a Name Query response at 304. A first open communication session is then established at 306 between the local host 254 and the edge node 20. Additionally, an open communication session 308 is established between the edge node 20 and the remote host 16. The local host 254 then sends a request for a specified file (object) to the edge node 20 in 310. The edge node then checks to determine if the file is present in the cache at 312. The edge node determines that the cache does possess the requested file. Next, the edge node 20 sends a Trans2 Request (i.e., file attributes) to determine if the stored file is valid at 314. Next, a Trans2 Response is sent with the most current file attributes at 316. At 318, the local edge node determines if the stored file is valid by checking the file timestamp. If the stored file is not valid, the local edge network may obtain the current file (not shown in FIG. 6) as discussed at 268, 270, and 272 of FIG. 5. Next, the file is transferred from the edge node 20 to the local host 254 in 320.

[0033] In another embodiment, the present invention provides for the election of the LMB when SMB is used in the network. As discussed above, according to the default behaviour of SMB, there is one LMB node on the entire Intranet. The LMB is elected automatically. The present invention provides for a method and system of electing one local LMB for each LAN segment, rather than having one global LMB node. The selection of an LMB for each LAN segment results in a savings in bandwidth on the bottleneck link. This is because, in the typical case, when there is only one LMB for the entire Intranet, the list of the available hosts on the network is sent on the bottleneck link upon each request originated from a LAN segment other than the LAN segment to which the LMB is connected.

[0034] FIG. 7 is a simplified block diagram illustrating LMB election where the LMB is operating in a network 400 in another embodiment of the present invention. The network includes an edge node 402, a switch 404 communicating with a new host 406, an LMB 408, and another host 410. The network also includes another switch 412 communicating with a host 414 and a second LMB 416. The present invention performs the LMB selection when the new host connects to the network at 420. At this time, a Browser Election Request is broadcast between the new host and the switch at 422, the switch 404 and the edge node 402 at 424, the switch and the LMB at 426 and the switch and the host 410 at 428. If an LMB already exists in the local segment, it announces itself with a Local Master Announcement message. As depicted in Fig. 7, the Local Master Announcement message is sent from the switch 404 to the new host 406 at 430, between the switch 404 and the LMB 408 at 432, between the switch 404 and the host 410 at 434, and from the switch 404 to the edge node 402 at 436. The newly connected host 406 stores the IP address of the LMB 408, and sends a Host Announcement message in order to log in at the LMB. As depicted in FIG. 7, the Host Announcement message is sent from the new host 406 to the switch 404 at 440, from the switch 404 to the LMB 408 at 442, from the switch 404 to the host 410 at 444, and from the switch 404 to the switch 412 through the edge 402 at 446. This message is transmitted by the edge network 20 over the bottleneck link.

[0035] Preferably, the Browser Election Request and Local Master Announcement messages which are originated from local hosts are prevented from sending to other segments by the edge node 402 with a firewall rule or similar mechanism. Therefore, these messages are only broadcast in the local LAN segment, making it possible for hosts to elect an LMB in each segment independently. However, Host Announcement messages are preferably not filtered out. Thus, the Host Announcement messages are received by every LMB. In this fashion, they are able to maintain a list of all available hosts in the network, including remote hosts. On the other hand, each host only knows its local LMB without having information about other LMBs in the network. Therefore, when browsing the network, the host downloads the list of the available hosts from the local LMB only.

[0036] Preferably, an LMB announces itself periodically to ensure its presence (keep-alive) is known by the other hosts. In the case of failure or switching off the LMB, a new LMB is preferably elected on the given LAN segment according to standard SMB functionality (without having any effect on the remote segments).

[0037] FIG. 8 is a high level flowchart illustrating the steps of Local Master Brower election in another embodiment of the present invention. With reference to FIGs. 7 and 8, the steps in the flowchart will now be explained. In step 500, the new host 406 connects to the network 400. Next, in step 502, a Browser Elect Request message is broadcast. In step 504, the edge node 402 filters out the Browser Elect Request message to prevent broadcasting outside the local LAN segment. Therefore, the Browser Elect Request message is only broadcast in the local LAN. In step 506, a Local Master Announcement message is broadcast. In step 508, the edge node 402 filters out the Local Master Announcement message to prevent broadcasting outside the local LAN segment. Therefore, the Local Master Announcement message is only broadcast within the local LAN segment. In step 510, the Host Announcement is broadcast to all LAN segments.

[0038] The present invention provides many advantages over existing systems and methods. The present invention does not require the broadcast of all broadcast messages to all segments in the network. The actual transfer of data among segments is only conducted where the cache stores outdated objects or the edge node does not have the requested object. In all other cases, a short message transfer is carried out among segments, thereby reducing message traffic. The delays of the transactions across the bottleneck interface are decreased resulting in a better experience when using SMB or other networked file system protocols. In addition, the caching method is completely transparent to the end hosts providing enhanced performance.

[0039] As will be recognized by those skilled in the art, the innovative concepts described in the present application can be modified and varied over a wide range of applications. Accordingly, the scope of patented subject matter should not be limited to any of the specific exemplary teachings discussed above, but is instead defined by the following claims.


Claims

1. A method, in a telecommunications network, of reducing intranet traffic between two Local Area Network, LAN, segments where a link between the two LAN segments is a bottleneck link, the method comprising the following steps performed in response to a request, by an initiator host, of an object from a host at a remote end, remote host, of the bottleneck link, wherein the request is sent to the remote host via a local edge node:

checking whether the traffic on the bottleneck link requires the remote host to be masqueraded, and if so, sending the local edge node's address to the initiator host instead of the remote host address;

verifying, by the local edge node, whether the requested object is up to date and stored in a cache associated with the local edge node and

if so, sending the object to the requesting initiator node; or

if the requested object is not up to date, the local edge node retrieving the up to date object from the remote host, storing the up to date object in the cache and sending the up to date, requested object to the initiator host.


 
2. The method according to claim 1 wherein the step of determining if the object is up to date includes matching a timestamp of the contents of the object with a timestamp of the last modification of the object.
 
3. The method according to claim 1 or 2 wherein the step of requesting an object includes requesting address host information of the host having the requested object.
 
4. The method according to any of the preceding claims further comprising the step of storing name and address information associated with hosts in the network in a Local Master Browser, LMB, wherein the network utilizes Server Message Block, SMB, protocol.
 
5. The method according to claim 4 further comprising the steps of:

receiving, by the local edge node, a host announcement message from the remote host;

storing the name and address information of the remote host in the local edge node; and

forwarding the announcement message with the name and address of the local edge node to nodes in the two LAN segments, including the LMB.


 
6. The method of claim 4 or 5, wherein each LAN segment utilizes a local LMB.
 
7. The method of claim 4, 5 or 6, wherein upon a new host connecting to the network; the new host broadcasting a Browser Elect Request message within the LAN;
filtering the Browser Elect Request message to prevent broadcast of the Browser Elect Request Message outside the LAN segment between the new host and the local edge node;
broadcasting a Local Master Announcement by a LMB located within the local LAN segment; and
broadcasting a Host Announcement to all LAN segments in the network.
 
8. A local edge node in a telecommunications network, for reducing intranet traffic between two Local Area Network, LAN, segments where a link between the two LAN segments is a bottleneck link, the local edge node comprising:

means for receiving from an initiator host a request for an object from a host at a remote end, remote host, of the bottleneck link and sending the request to the remote host;

means for checking whether the traffic on the bottleneck link requires the remote host to be masqueraded, and if so,

the local edge node being arranged for

sending the local edge node address to the initiator host on behalf of the remote host; and

determining if the requested object is up to date and stored in a cache associated with the local edge node; if so, the local edge node sending the object to the requesting initiator node, if the object is not up to date, the local edge node retrieving the up to date object from the remote host, storing the up to date object in the cache and sending the up to date, requested object to the initiator host.


 
9. The local edge node according to claim 8, wherein the checking means further includes means for matching a timestamp of the contents of the requested object with a timestamp of the last modification of the requested object.
 
10. The local edge node according to claim 8 or 9, wherein the node further comprises means for requesting address host information of the host having the requested object.
 
11. The local edge node according to any of claims 8 to 10, wherein the network utilizes Server Message Block (SMB) protocol and
name and address information associated with hosts in the network are stored in a Local Master Browser (LMB).
 
12. The local edge node according to any of claims 8 to 11, further comprising:

receiving means for receiving a host announcement message from the remote host;

a cache for storing the name and address information of the remote host; and

means for forwarding the announcement message with the name and address of the local edge node to the LMB.


 
13. The local edge node of any of claims 8 to 12, wherein each LAN segment utilizes a local LMB.
 
14. The local edge node of any of claims 8 to 13, further comprising means for receiving a request from the remote host requesting masquerading of the remote host.
 
15. The local edge node of any of claims 8 to 14, wherein the means for sending the request for an object includes means for requesting address host information of the host having the requested object.
 
16. The local edge node of any of claims 8 to 15, further comprising means for receiving a Browser Elect Request message, for connecting a new host to the network, broadcast within the LAN;
means for filtering the Browser Elect Request message to prevent broadcast of the Browser Elect Request Message outside the LAN segment between the new host and the local edge node;
means for communicating with a LMB, located within the local LAN segment, for broadcasting a Local Master Announcement ; and
the new host broadcasting a Host Announcement to all LAN segments in the network, wherein the Host Announcement is transmitted by the local edge node over the bottleneck link.
 
17. A system in a telecommunications network, for reducing intranet traffic between two Local Area Network, LAN, segments where a link between the two LAN segments is a bottleneck link, the system comprising:

an initiator host for requesting an object from a host at a remote end, remote host, of the bottleneck link, wherein the request is sent to the remote host via a local edge node;

the local edge node according to any of claims 8 to 16.


 
18. The system according to claim 17, further comprising:

sending means in the remote host arranged for sending a Host Announcement message to the local edge node.


 
19. The system according to claim 17 or 18, wherein the remote host includes means for requesting masquerading of the remote host; and/or
wherein the means for requesting an object includes means for requesting address host information of the host having the requested object.
 
20. The system of any of claims 17 to 19, further comprising means for connecting a new host to the network, the new host broadcasting a Browser Elect Request message within the LAN;
means for filtering the Browser Elect Request message to prevent broadcast of the Browser Elect Request Message outside the LAN segment between the new host and the local edge node;
a LMB, located within the local LAN segment, for broadcasting a Local Master Announcement; and
the new host broadcasting a Host Announcement to all LAN segments in the network, wherein the Host Announcement is transmitted by the local edge node over the bottleneck link.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description