Simple Cost Accounting Policy


kwe@bu-it.bu.edu (kwe@bu-cs.bu.edu)
28 Apr 88 17:02:53 GMT


        All this talk about problems and issues that would happen if
cost recovery just starts up ad-hoc proves that a straightforward
attempt to implement cost recovery piecemeal will fail.
        I would think that one place to start in coming up with
something reasonable for a campus/regional/backbone hierarchical model
would be to look at the network management data in the Management
Information Base (MIB). IpPktsIn, IpPktsOut, TcpPktsIn, etc. I don't
think usage charges should get any more complicated than that for
LAN/internet traffic. If the jvnc-net people sent me a bill for $xxx
per month line charge for my 56kbps link and $yyy per thousand
IpPktsIn/IpPktsOut I could check that against what my router tells me
went in/out that interface. I could set up the same kind of billing
per k of IpPkts for my local Ethernets if I wanted. I really don't
think it should get any more complex than that.
        Even this simple scheme has problems. What if BITnet and
jvncnet have vastly different charging schemes? What if jvncnet and
the nsfnet backbone have different schemes? What if jvncnet wants to
bill me for traffic that goes onto the backbone? How will they
measure that? How will I verify or understand charges like that?
There have to be simple rules for collecting traffic information and
collecting charges at limited specific points in the network. I don't
see how it will work unless the campus nets, the regionals, and the
backbones all have similar models for collecting money. Services like
the backbone should charge the regionals only and the regionals pass
on charges to the campus LANs without trying to account for individual
packets as they traverse nets. Trying to differentiate intra-regional
from inter-regional (sound like intraLATA vs interLATA? :-) would be
too complicated to do at first. Point is, it has to be coordinated
among the various nets or we have games being played where traffic
seeks the least literal cost route and not most effective transport
route. Keep it simple.

        Kent England, Boston University



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