Implementation of Quality of Service Over a Multicast Network for Distance Learning Centres


ABSTRACT

Technological advancement in internet communication has led to the great evolution in educational sector. Learning has greatly improved from the traditional method to distance learning or e-learning. Distance learning is aimed at delivering teaching to individuals or a group of students that are not present physically in a classroom. Distance learning has been adopted by various Universities in developed countries where interested people can have an education under supervision of renowned lecturers. Multicast technology will be studied as a tool used for distance learning.

In this project, a model of the multicast network will be designed and implemented. Design and implementation was on the basis of detailed researches done to obtain the best methods for the implementation of a distance learning centre, which included multicast technologies and protocols. Quality of Service (QoS) was extensively research as a medium to guarantee the video quality. Testing of the network was done after the implementation phase, where both objective assessment method and subjective assessment method were both used to determine the presence and absence of QoS. This test will be carried out in the lab on the prototype network. The final chapters of this project critically evaluated the whole project and concluded the project.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Overview

Tremendous growth of the internet and particularly for the demand of multimedia application on the internet has attracted a lot of attention to video streaming on the internet. Organizations has being able to utilize this improvement in technology in the delivery of multimedia applications to customers using a technology known as Multicast. Multicast is used for the transmission of a single stream to multiple receivers simultaneously being delivered. It is effective as it conserves bandwidth in the transmission of traffic.

Factors like Quality of Service affects multicast. Initially, network was non-convergence and traffic was delivered by connecting endpoints; voice to voice, data to data and video to video, bandwidth access was on a first come, first served basis. With the inception of converged network, traffic like voice, data and video can be transmitted on the same network. These traffics all have different requirement like video and voice traffic are time specific and therefore requires priority.

The implementation of QoS in multicast helps to control delay and jitter. It also helps to provide required bandwidth for traffic and reduce loss of packets. Video and audio compression implementation when applied on the video helps to produce a video with better quality while reducing the bandwidth consumed.

This dissertation will intensively explore the different types of multicast technologies, Quality of Service policies and Video/Audio compression techniques. A model will be designed for my client and implementation will be based on the recommendations from the research chapter.

1.1 Sponsor’s Overview

Life Preparation Limited is a Nigeria-based training company that is into training of people who wants to gain more knowledge in both Information Technology and Business related courses. This company is aimed at improving the skills level of Nigerians by offering varieties of courses. These skills are being impacted by experts from these areas. The company was established on 1st of September, 2002.

The company has two centres: the first established centre is situated in Lagos Nigeria, which is the heart of the southern part of the country. The second office was established in the year 2008 in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) 6 years after the first, out of a passion for citizen that were interested in their high level of training. Over the years, they have earned awards of excellence due to their high training standard and as a result of customer’s satisfactory report. The trainings are done at their two centres where interested trainee conveyed to be taught. The classes so far have being through a physical medium where the tutor and the trainee meet in the training centre.

1.2 Problem Review

Due to the distance of these training centres to some other parts of the country, lots of interested trainees opting for some other less standard training centres. A survey was carried out and it showed that 90% of the respondents would have loved to attend their training centre for their training. But due to the fact that it is not accessible to them, they would rather attend another training centre. This has been a great concern for my client, though their standard is high, the distance between interested customers and the training centre is a challenge.

Life Preparation Limited has opened a branch in the eastern part of the country (Port- Harcourt) and has even placed on their website vacancy for tutors in different areas where they specialize. But there has been the issue of recruiting credible tutors with high standard like those in their other centres. Therefore, the idea of streaming their classes live from the head centre in Lagos, Nigeria came up, as they will use their accredited tutors to deliver the lectures. It also helps to reduce the risks of tutors travelling and saves travel time. Although, the existing network infrastructure cannot support multicasting, it will be upgraded.

1.3 Client Requirements

These are the requirement made by my client required to be fulfilled. This includes:

1. To establish the best methods of developing a Multicast network over the Ethernet with Quality of Service.

2. To setup a multicast video connection between the Lagos centre and the Port Harcourt centre.

3. To identify, establish and maintain a satisfactory QoS for the required traffic.
4. An analysed report will be produced and a proposed design for the multicast
network.

1.4 Project objectives

In order to fulfil the said client requirements, project objectives were put in place. These include:
 To study and analyse the current state of network infrastructure of my sponsor.

 Researching and critically analysing existing literatures on multicast with QoS.

 Design a model for the multicast network with QoS implementation.

 To test the Multicast network and QoS.

 Critical evaluation of the entire project.

 To identify areas of future research work.

 To produce a detailed MSc Dissertation on multicasting with Quality of Service.

1.5 Project Constraints

 The model will be developed in the laboratory which is different from the client’s working environment.

 The availability of RV208 laboratory for use which is also being used for tutorials and lectures.

 The availability of Cisco equipment which will also be used by other project students.