(12) United States Patent
Krishna et al.
(io) Patent No.: US 6,718,379 Bl (45) Date of Patent: Apr. 6,2004
(54) SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR NETWORK MANAGEMENT OF LOCAL AREA NETWORKS HAVING NON-BLOCKING NETWORK SWITCHES CONFIGURED FOR SWITCHING DATA PACKETS BETWEEN SUBNETWORKS BASED ON MANAGEMENT POLICIES
(75) Inventors: Gopal S. Krishna, San Jose, CA (US);
Peter Ka-Fai Chow, San Jose, CA
(US); Somnath Viswanath, San Jose,
CA (US); Shr-Jie Tzeng, Fremont, CA
(US); Mrudula Kanuri, Santa Clara,
A centralized policy server sends policy messages, that describe network management policy, to network switches. Each policy message includes a packet attribute that enables a network switch to uniquely identify a received data packet, and either a priority level or network switch action that describes the switching operation to be performed by the network switch. The network switches are configured for implementing the network management policy by storing switching actions for prescribed data packets, and templates that specify frame data parameters for identifying the prescribed data packets. Each network switch, configured for performing layer 2 and layer 3 switching in an Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) network without blocking of incoming data packets, includes in each network switch port a packet classifier module configured for classifying a received data packet based on a template generated based on the policy messages. In particular, the network switch stores a plurality of user-programmable templates, each configured for identifying a corresponding class of data packet.
19 Claims, 6 Drawing Sheets