Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

More Events »

Subscribe to Newsletter

  • Keep up with all of the latest news and analysis on the fast-moving IT industry with Network Computing newsletters.
Sign Up

Designing a Network Protocol


When requirements are tight and unforgiving, it's sometimes easier to design your own protocol.

In this article, I look at constructing the communication protocol for a personal area network. The network consists of low-power nodes that capture physiological data from sensors and condition it before sending it to a central node for processing. In this system, each node is connected to different sensors, which collect various physiological data. The collected data depends on where the sensor node is located on the body. Some of the information collected in this system includes electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG), and body temperature. Each node retrieves the sensor data at a specific rate, stores the data locally, and then transmits its data to a central processing node (CPN). The CPN has the responsibility of storing the node's data, performing algorithmic processing on it, if necessary, and then transmitting the results to a remote device.

One of the key concerns for the individual sensor nodes is to keep power requirements to an absolute minimum. This requirement decreases the battery size, thereby reducing node size, and it extends the battery life. Having local data storage at the node level ensures integrity of the data if a node is temporarily unable to communicate its data to the CPN.

Standard TCP/IP vs. Proprietary Protocol

One of the first design decisions for our communication protocol was to determine whether an off-the-shelf or open-source, TCP/IP network stack could be used for each node. There are several options available for TCP/IP network stacks that are specifically tailored for embedded systems.

In this design case, the main determining factor in deciding whether to use a TCP/IP stack was the packet overhead. The transmission of data off the node is the most costly operation in terms of power consumption, therefore, it is important to limit the time it takes to send the data as well as the power consumed to send that data. In our network sensor system, optimizing battery life is a key to extending the operational life of the system.

... Read full story on Dr.Dobb's

Post a comment to the original version of this story on Dr.Dobb's

Related Reading


More Insights



Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.
 
Vendor Comparisons
Network Computing’s Vendor Comparisons provide extensive details on products and services, including downloadable feature matrices. Our categories include:

Research and Reports

Network Computing: April 2013



TechWeb Careers