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ABSTRACT

 

This research presents the design and configuration of Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
technology to address scalability issues on a large and complex campus network such as Ahmadu
Bello University campus network that is currently designed, configured and implemented with
Open Shortest Path First Protocol (OSPF) network. Graphical Network Simulator (GNS3) was used
to model and emulate the campus network to identify areas most vulnerable to scalability issues.
The network was redesigned and configured with MPLS technology, which showed significant
improvement in the speed of CPU, RAM, and link utilizations of the routers and switches as the
network resources were accessed. The network was also modeled in OPNET modeler with OSPF
and then with MPLS to verify the results obtained using GNS3. The models were configured with
network services such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Web, e-mail, voice and video traffic.
Traffics were generated at peak hours and data was collected for performance metrics; throughput,
delay (end-to-end and queuing), and jitter. The results obtained during the simulation showed that
MPLS-Based network have higher throughput from 4,000 (bps) to 81,000 (bps) compared with
OSPF network from 3,000 (bps) to 41,000 bps, lower end-to-end delay from 0.0000019 to
0.0000050s compared with 0.000002s to 0.0000092s, lower queuing delay from 0.00002s to
0.000074s compared with 0.000045s to 0.000084s, lower jitter from 0.00005s to 0.0004s compared
with 0.00005s to 0.00080s, lower server load of 250,000,000 (bits/sec) compared with 790,000,000
(bits/sec). The validation, based on the developed and simulated configuration was carried out
using live routers and switches and the results showed an average reduction of Central Processing
Unit (CPU) utilization from about 97.5% for OSPF-based network to about 37% for MPLS-based
network, and reduction of Random Access Memory (RAM) utilization from 97% for OSPF-based
network to 32% for MPLS-network, there was also reduction in link utilization from 80% for
OSPF-based network to 19% for MPLS-based network. The results obtained using MPLS-based
network design showed that MPLS network provided more scalable and efficient solution than
conventional OSPF network even with the addition of more network services, network devices or
end users.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DECLARATION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. i
CERTIFICATION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ii
DEDICATION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ………………………………………………………………………………………………. iv
ABSTRACT …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… v
TABLE OF CONTENTS ………………………………………………………………………………………………… vi
LIST OF FIGURES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… viii
LIST OF PLATES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. x
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ………………………………………………………………………………………….. xi
CHAPTER ONE:………………….INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………. 1
1.1 BACKGROUND ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM ……………………………………………………………………. 3
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES …………………………………………………………………………………. 4
1.4 METHODOLOGY …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
1.5 DISSERTATION ORGANIZATION …………………………………………………………………… 5
CHAPTER TWO:………………LITERATURE REVIEW ………………………………………………… 6
2.1 INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
2.2 OVERVIEW OF THE FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS …………………………………………. 6
2.2.1 Internet Protocol Version Four (IPv4) ………………………………………………………………….. 6
2.2.2 Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) Protocol ……………………………………………………………. 8
2.2.3 Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Network ………………………………………………. 13
2.2.4 Network Performance Metrics …………………………………………………………………………… 18
2.2.5 Graphical Network Simulator (GNS3) ……………………………………………………………….. 19
2.2.6 OPNET Modeler ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
2.3 REVIEW OF SIMILAR WORKS ……………………………………………………………………… 22
CHAPTER THREE:…………….MATERIALS AND METHODS ……………………………………. 34
3.1 INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 34
3.2.1 The Ahmadu Bello University Network ……………………………………………………………… 34
3.3 METHODOLOGY …………………………………………………………………………………………… 44
3.3.1 ABU Campus Network Modeling and Emulation using GNS3 ……………………………… 45
vii
3.3.2 ABU MPLS Network Modeling and Emulation using GNS3 ………………………………… 48
3.3.3 ABU Campus Network Design and Configuration Using OPNET Modeler ……………. 51
CHAPTER FOUR:………………RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS ………………………………….. 56
4.1 INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 56
4.2 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS ………………………………………………………….. 56
4.3 VALIDATION ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 61
4.3.1 Validation Result ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 66
CHAPTER FIVE:……………CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS …………………… 70
5.1 INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 70
5.2 SUMMARY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 70
5.3 SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION …………………………………………………………………….. 71
5.4 CONCLUSION ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 72
5.5 LIMITATIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 72
5.6 RECOMMENDATION AND FUTURE WORK …………………………………………………. 72
References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73
APPENDIX I …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78
APPENDIX II ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 79

 

Project Topics

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND
Early computer networks carried continuous bit streams over physical links in a technique called
circuit switching. This was well suited for transmitting voice or real time data from a single
sender to a single receiver (Unicast communication). In this kind of network, a single physical
link failure had dramatic consequences, leading to the interruption of all communications that
was using the failed link, popularly known as circuit switched network (Andrew, 2011; Stallings,
2007).
The Internet today is a datagram packet-switched network that addressed the drawback of the
circuit switched network by cutting data into small chunks called packets. These packets are
individually routed through the network, such that two packets from the same communication
network are individually handled in the network. Therefore, if a link fails, packets can be
rerouted to avoid the failed link and communications are not interrupted, this feature of a packet
switched network is called resilience because it hides network failure from the end users
(Andrew, 2011; Stallings, 2007).
The Internet uses Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suites of protocols
as in Figure 1.1 to transport traffic over the network and the Internet, this suite of protocols was
designed by Department of Defense (DoD) from United States of America to ease
communications between troops in the war field and later being adopted into all other means of
communication and data sharing. Many protocols consist of a suite (or group) of protocols
stacked into layers, these layers depend on the operation of the other layers in the suite to
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function properly. TCP/IP consists of four layers that perform functions necessary to prepare
data for transmission over a network (Lammle, 2012).
Figure 1.1: TCP/IP Reference Model (Lammle, 2012)
Campus network is a proprietary local area network (LAN) or set of interconnected LANs
serving a corporation, government agency, university, or similar organization. It is usually
administered by a single organization or individual, the administrative control that governs the
security and access control policies are enforced on the network level, it also provides high speed
bandwidth to internal end devices and intermediary devices. The need for constant reliable data
delivery service leads to high demand for effective network resources, network elements such as
applications, hosts, switches, routers or gateway devices should guarantee that network traffic
should be routed more efficiently. It becomes increasingly essential to manage networks
effectively and utilize network resources efficiently to fulfill the requirements of various Internet
and network services (Lammle, 2012).
The speed, scalability and reliably of any campus network depends on the ability of the design to
address some of the critical hardware like memory, CPU utilization and link utilization to have
higher throughput, and minimize delays and jitter, this would be achieved with the selection of
more scalable routing protocol. The network design and configuration should be done to take
care of all the necessary parameters to provide a highly scalable network.
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1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
ABU campus network was designed, configured, and implemented using both switching (layer-
2) technologies at the network edge (Access layer) and routing (layer-3) technologies at the core
(Distribution and Core layers). At layer-2, the network design is achieved by means of Virtual
Local Area Networks (VLANs) and STP protocols, and layer-3 by means of routing protocols,
which has some of the following limitations.
a) Impossibility to group services that span across the entire campus network such as
confidential student records.
b) Lack of full implementation of the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) on the network, this can
lead to (STP) loops in a large campus network which can cause very high delays and frame
duplications.
c) OSPF protocol has many redundancy issues as it uses metric calculation to over utilize or
underutilize some links which can affect routing performance.
d) Poor IP Address Planning on the active devices which affects the performance of the
hardware’s CPU, RAM, and link utilization.
e) In the design, configuration and implementation of OSPF routing protocol on a campus
network, poor IP address Planning will result into having a very large routing table in the
routers and switches, which causes slower routing table lookup and tendency of routing loop.
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1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of the research is the evaluation of the scalability robustness of the ABU campus
network with a view to improving network performance.
The objectives of the research are then as follows:
a) Modeling and emulation/simulation of OSPF-based and proposed MPLS-based ABU Zaria
campus network using GNS3 and evaluation of the scalability robustness of the modeled
network based-on Layer-2 and Layer-3 technologies.
b) Development of configuration codes for all the routers and switches on the proposed MPLSbased
network for improved performance.
c) Modeling and simulation of OSPF-based and proposed MPLS-based ABU Zaria campus
network using OPNET Modeler based-on a); configuration of network services; FTP, Web,
Email, Voice, and Video conferencing.
d) Analysis of the data generated in c) using performance metrics; throughput, end-to-end delay,
queuing delay, jitter, and server load.
e) Validation of b) above using live routers and switches.
1.4 METHODOLOGY
In order to actualize the objectives of the research, the following methodology is adopted:
a) MPLS as a scalable network design solution was selected and emulated/simulated the ABU
Campus network for improved performance.
b) ABU Zaria Campus Network was designed, configured and emulated using GNS3 emulator
to identify possible scalability issues that affect the performance of network hardware
components such as CPU, memory, and link utilization due to lack full implementation layer-
2 and layer-3 technologies.
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c) ABU Zaria Campus network was redesigned, configured and emulated using GNS3 emulator
using the MPLS technology which was implemented to address the scalable issues in (b) and
achieve optimum network resources utilization.
d) ABU Campus network topology was replicated from GNS3 emulator to OPNET modeler
based-on (b), FTP, Web, Email, Voice, and Video conferencing network services were
configured and simulated to test the capability and efficiency of the hardware components in
handling all the traffic at the same time.
e) ABU Campus network topology was replicated from GNS3 emulator to OPNET modeler
based-on (c), MPLS technology solution was configured and simulated to address the
scalability issues and achieve optimum network resources utilization.
f) Using the simulated network model in (d), and (e), data was generated for throughput, endto-
end delay, queuing delay, jitter, and server load as the performance metrics and compared.
g) The improved designed solution was validated using live routers, and multi-layer switches.
1.5 DISSERTATION ORGANIZATION
The general introduction of computer networks, statement of the problem, methodology, and
aims and objectives has been presented in chapter one. The rest of the chapters are presented as
follows: a detailed review of the fundamental concepts of IP address technology, Open Shortest
Path First Protocol (OSPF), Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), OPNET Modeler, GNS3
as well as a review of similar research works is presented in chapter two, detailed Abu campus
network, and step by step guide in the configuration and implementations of ABU campus
network and proposed solution design model are presented in chapter three, analysis and
discussions of the results are presented in chapter four, summary, conclusions, significant
contributions, limitations and recommendations are presented in chapter five.
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