This invention relates generally to computer networks, and is more particularly directed toward optimizing subnetwork bandwidth based on desired subscription rates.
Computer and communication technologies continue to advance at a rapid pace. Indeed, computer and communication technologies are involved in many aspects of a person's day. For example, many devices being used today by consumers have a small computer inside of the device. These small computers come in varying sizes and degrees of sophistication. These small computers include everything from one microcontroller to a fully-functional complete computer system. For example, these small computers may be a one-chip computer, such as a microcontroller, a oneboard type of computer, such as a controller, a typical desktop computer, such as an IBM-PC compatible, etc.
Computers typically have one or more processors at the heart of the computer. The processor(s) usually are interconnected to different external inputs and outputs and function to manage the particular computer or device. For example, a processor in a thermostat may be connected to buttons used to select the temperature setting, to the furnace or air conditioner to change the temperature, and to temperature sensors to read and display the current temperature on a display.
Many appliances, devices, etc., include one or more small computers. For example, thermostats, furnaces, air conditioning systems, refrigerators, telephones, typewriters, automobiles, vending machines, and many different types of industrial equipment now typically have small computers, or processors, inside of them. Computer software runs the processors of these computers and instructs the processors how to carry out certain tasks. For example, the computer software running on a thermostat may cause an air conditioner to stop running when a particular temperature is reached or may cause a heater to turn on when needed.
These types of small computers that are a part of a device, appliance, tool, etc., are often referred to as embedded systems. The term "embedded system" usually refers to computer hardware and software that is part of a larger system. Embedded systems may not have typical input and output devices such as a keyboard, mouse, and/or monitor. Usually, at the heart of each embedded system is one or more processor(s).
As stated, embedded systems may be used to monitor or control many different systems, resources, products, etc. With the growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web, embedded systems are increasingly connected to the Internet so that they can be remotely monitored and/or controlled. Other embedded systems may be connected to computer networks including local area networks, wide area networks, etc.
Some embedded systems may provide data and/or services to other computing devices using a computer network. These requesting computing devices may request that the data and/or service be provided at specified rates. Sometimes the computer networks providing the communication of this information do not provide sufficient and/or desirable
means for optimizing the bandwidth used for this communication. Benefits may be realized if systems and methods were provided to optimize subnetwork bandwidth based on desired rates of the requesting computing devices.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present embodiments will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. 10 Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of the invention's scope, the embodiments will be described with additional specificity and detail through use of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a network block diagram illustrating two intervening access nodes in a computer network;
FIG. 2 is a network block diagram illustrating several intervening access nodes in a computer network; 20 FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an embodiment of an intervening access node;
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of another embodiment of an intervening access node;
FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method
of a provider connecting to a network;
FIG. 6 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method
of a requestor establishing a service communication link
with a provider; 30 FIG. 7 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method
of an intervening access node processing a request for
services to be sent to a provider;
FIG. 8 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method
of an intervening access node processing a request to cease 35 a service or to reduce the rate of data being received from a
FIG. 9 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method of an intervening access node processing data received from a node in the communication pathway to the provider of the 40 service originating the data;
FIG. 10 is a block diagram of hardware components that may be used in an embodiment of an embedded device; and FIG. 11 is a network block diagram illustrating an inter45 vening access node serving as a protocol converter.
It will be readily understood that the components of the embodiments as generally described and illustrated in the
50 Figures herein could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more detailed description of the embodiments of the methods and apparatus of the present invention, as represented in the Figures, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention,
55 as claimed, but is merely representative of the embodiments of the invention.
Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment" or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the
60 embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment" or "in an embodiment" in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.
65 Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numer