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1 (19) TEPZZ_4977B_T (11) EP B1 (12) EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION (4) Date of publication and mention of the grant of the patent: Bulletin 14/0 (21) Application number: (22) Date of filing: (1) Int Cl.: H04L 9/32 (06.01) H04B 7/00 (06.01) A61N 1/37 (06.01) (86) International application number: PCT/US03/ (87) International publication number: WO 03/090 (..03 Gazette 03/44) (4) METHOD, APPARATUS AND SYSTEM FOR SUPPORTING MULTIPLE COLLABORATIVE SESSIONS IN A BI-DIRECTIONAL COMMUNICATION DEVICE VERFAHREN, VORRICHTUNG UND SYSTEM ZUM UNTERSTÜTZEN MEHRERER KOLLABORATIVER SITZUNGEN IN EINER BIDIREKTIONALEN KOMMUNIKATIONSEINRICHTUNG PROCEDE, DISPOSITIF ET SYSTEME DESTINES A LA MISE EN OEUVRE DE PLUSIEURS SESSIONS DE COLLABORATION DANS UN APPAREIL DE COMMUNICATION BIDIRECTIONNELLE (84) Designated Contracting States: DE ES FR GB IT () Priority: US P (43) Date of publication of application: Bulletin 0/02 (73) Proprietor: Thomson Licensing 921 Issy-les-Moulineaux (FR) (72) Inventors: BROERMAN, Keith, Robert Carmel, IN (US) SHU, Linmei Austin, TX (US) WANG, Liangzhong Austin, TX (US) (74) Representative: Esselin, Sophie et al Marks & Clerk France Conseils en Propriété Industrielle Immeuble Visium 22, Avenue Aristide Briand Arcueil Cedex (FR) (6) References cited: US-B US-B US-B Cabletron Systems: "SmartSTACK ELS0- S24TX2M FAST ETHERNET SWITCH MANAGEMENT GUIDE" 1 January 00 ( ), pages 1-0, XP Retrieved from the Internet: URL: secure.enterasys.com/support/ma nuals/ hardware/329.pdf [retrieved on ] InterNiche Technologies: "Portable RIP, PPP, Alerter & Telnet Options" 1 June 1999 ( ), pages 1-2, XP Retrieved from the Internet: URL:http: // niche/ options.pdf [retrieved on -06-] Hewlett Packard: "HP Telnet/iX User s Guide" 1 January 1998 ( ), XP Retrieved from the Internet: URL: docs.hp.com/en/ / pdf [retrieved on -06-] EP B1 Note: Within nine months of the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent in the European Patent Bulletin, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to that patent, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations. Notice of opposition shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention). Printed by Jouve, 7001 PARIS (FR)

2 1 EP B1 2 Description CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This patent application claims the benefit of US. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/372,913, filed April 16, 02. FIELD OF THE INVENTION [0002] This invention relates to the field of bi-directional communication systems and, more specifically, to the simultaneous support of multiple sessions in a network device of a bi-directional communication system. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0003] A Telnet server makes the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a Telnet client accessible to applications by writing the IP address into device associated space initialized when the virtual device at the server is associated with the physical device at the client. Applications retrieve this device IP address using an application program interface, and are thus enabled to do job routing, printer pass-thru, access control and so forth using TCP/IP networks. [0004] At the host end of the system, the Telnet server is coupled to the network via a transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) process, which provides information transport services; while at each Telnet client site a client is coupled to the network via a similar TCP/IP process. The Telnet server functions to note requests for specified services from Telnet clients and to service those requests. A plurality of application programs are provided at the host installation, and appropriate ones of these programs are selectively coupled to the Telnet server in response to Telnet client requests. [000] The procedure in which a point-to-point link is established and information is exchanged between a host application and a Telnet client application is termed a session, and a session typically commences by the generation of a service request by a Telnet client at a client workstation. In response to the receipt of a request for service, the Telnet server establishes a memory structure using host system memory for controlling the service procedure and for retrieving, storing and forwarding information pertaining to the request for service. [0006] Typically, an authentication routine is initially called to determine whether the Telnet client requester is authorized to participate in the requested service, with the routine typically providing the client user ID and password at the client workstation which is then checked by the Telnet server at the host installation using an authentication application program routine. After the requester has been cleared by the authentication routine, the service requested is carried out in conjunction with the appropriate one or more application programs. Once the service is completed, the session is terminated [0007] Multiple Service Operators (MSO) often need to get operating information on networked devices, such as deployed cable modems and customer premises equipment, for testing, diagnosis, and troubleshooting. [0008] To facilitate diagnostic analysis and information transfer, many Media Terminal Adaptor (MTA) vendors have implemented Telnet servers on their products (e.g., Voice over IP enabled cable modems and other network devices). The MTA Telnet servers can provide run time and long-term operating information to requestors. A limitation of the Telnet servers, though, is that they currently only support one Telnet session at a time, which limits the diagnostic collaboration between multiple vendor parties. In "SmartSTACK ELS0-S24TX2M fast Ethernet switch management guide" of Cabletron System, 1 January 00, we find allowability for a user to set a number of concurrent TELNET sessions and ability to view switch statistics to monitor and evaluate switch performance. In "Portable RIP, PPP, Alerter & Telnet Options", InterNiche Technologies,1 June 1999, an embedded system is described that can dynamically gather and supply gateway IP addresses that are needed for routing. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0009] The disadvantages heretofore associated with the prior art, are overcome by the present invention of a method and apparatus for supporting multiple Telnet sessions, as claimed respectively in claim 1 and claim 6, including receiving multiple Telnet session requests, verifying identification information for each requester, establishing a communications channel for each verified requester, and communicating the requested information to all of the verified requesters via the established communications channels. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [00] The principles of the present invention can be readily understood by considering the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: FIG. 1 depicts a high level block diagram of a communications network including an embodiment of the present invention; FIG. 2 depicts a high level block diagram of an embodiment of a modem of the present invention suitable for use in the network system of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 depicts a flow diagram of an authentication method for providing multiple Telnet sessions simultaneously, in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and FIG. 4 depicts a flow diagram of a sending method for providing multiple Telnet sessions simultaneously, in accordance with the principles of the present invention. 2

3 3 EP B1 4 [0011] To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the figures. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0012] The present invention will be described within the context of a cable modem implementing Telnet server technology. However, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the relevant art that the present invention may also be implemented by various other network devices using communication sessions to diagnose, initialize, provision, and otherwise communicate with a network server. Thus, it is contemplated by the inventors that the present invention has broad applicability beyond the MTA described herein. In a preferred embodiment, the present invention advantageously provides a method and apparatus for a Telnet server supporting multiple sessions. [0013] FIG. 1 depicts a high level block diagram of a communications network including an embodiment of the present invention. The communications network 0 of FIG. 1 comprises a subscriber terminal (illustratively a personal computer (PC)) 1, which communicates with a modem 1, which communicates with a data service system (illustratively a Internet/Intranet service system (ISS)) 1, which communicates with remote Internet and Intranet systems 1, 0 via an interconnect network 160. The ISS 1 provides Internet or Intranet service to its subscriber sites (e.g., subscriber terminal 1) via the modem 1. Subscribers connect to the ISS 1 from their terminals (e.g., personal computers, Macintoshes, Web terminals and the like, typically including memory, processing and input/output functionality) via the interconnect network 160. [0014] The ISS 1 comprises content servers (not shown) that store data for access from the subscriber terminals. The content servers support servers for Internet applications, such as electronic mail, bulletin boards, news groups, and World Wide Web access. In addition, the ISS 1 comprises web proxy servers (not shown) that allow a network administrator to restrict access to the remote Internet systems 1 or remote Intranet systems 0. Another use of the proxy servers is to cache frequently accessed data from the Internet. The ISS 1 also comprises address assignment servers (not shown). The address assignment servers assign an address to the subscriber terminal 1 when it is first connected to the ISS 1. The assigned address uniquely identifies the subscriber terminal 1 in the ISS 1. [00] The ISS 1 employs the Internet Protocol (IP) for data communication to and from various servers, as well as with the remote systems 1 and 0. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) operates above the IP layer and ensures reliable delivery of information to the content servers in the ISS 1 and the remote systems 1 and 0. The application protocols that operate above the TCP layer are specific to the applications being accessed by the subscriber terminal 1. For example, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used for file transfers and the Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP) is used for web accesses. Each of the remote Internet systems 1 and/or each of the remote Intranet systems 0 typically include the same or similar servers and modules as those described above for the ISS 1. [0016] The communications network of FIG. 1 illustratively further includes a Telnet client 170 in the PC 1, a Telnet client 180 in the ISS 1 and a Telnet server 190 in the modem 1. One exemplary function of the Telnet server 190 within the modem 1 is to initiate a plurality of diagnostic tests to detect a fault within the network system and provide a requesting client(s) 170, 180 with run time and long-term operating information upon receiving a diagnostic request. The Telnet clients 170, 180 in the PC 1 and the ISS 1, respectively and the Telnet server 190 in the modem 1 operatively communicate according to the Telnet logon protocol. [0017] FIG. 2 depicts a high level block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a modem 1 comprising a diagnostic Telnet server 170, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, suitable for use in the network system 0 of FIG. 1. The modem 1 of FIG. 2 comprises a processor 2 as well as a memory 2 for storing control programs and information. The memory 2 of the modem 1 further comprises the Telnet server 190 including a web server 222 and a diagnostic engine 224, the function of which are described below. The processor 2 cooperates with conventional support circuitry 2 such as power supplies, clock circuits, cache memory and the like as well as circuits that assist in executing the software routines stored in the memory 2. As such, it is contemplated that some of the process steps discussed herein as software processes may be implemented within hardware, for example, as circuitry that cooperates with the processor 2 to perform various steps. The modem 1 also contains input-output circuitry 2 that forms an interface between the various functional elements communicating with the modem 1. For example, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the modem 1 communicates with the subscriber terminal 1 via a signal path S1 and with the ISS 1 via signal path S2. [0018] Although the modem 1 of FIG. 2 is depicted as a general purpose computer that is programmed to perform various control functions in accordance with the present invention, the invention can be implemented in hardware, for example, as an application specified integrated circuit (ASIC). As such, the process steps described herein are intended to be broadly interpreted as being equivalently performed by software, hardware, or a combination thereof. Furthermore, although the Telnet server 190 of FIG. 2 is depicted as being located within the memory 2 of the modem 1, the Telnet server 190 may be located outside of the memory 2 of the modem 1, or may comprise a separate component in communication with the cable modem 1, in accordance with the principles of the present invention. [0019] The web server 222 is implemented using 3

4 EP B1 6 known web server technologies. For example, in one embodiment, the web server 222 is implemented using the web server technology developed by Netscape Communications Corporation of Mountain View, California. In another embodiment, the web server 222 is implemented using the web server technology developed by Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, Washington. [00] Referring to FIG. 1, when a diagnostic request from the Telnet client 170 in the PC 1 or the Telnet client 180 in the ISS 1 is communicated to the Telnet server 190 in the modem 1, the web server 222 in the Telnet server 190 of the modem 1 decodes the diagnostic request. The web server 222 then parses and packages the data contained in the diagnostic request. That is, the web server 222 puts the decoded request in the proper data structure (e.g., the data structure specified by the Netscape Application Programming Interface from Netscape Communications Corp.). The processed request is then sent to the diagnostic engine 224 of the Telnet server 190 of the modem 1 via an intrahost communication socket. The intrahost communication socket is a communication protocol. In one embodiment, the intrahost socket is a UNIX domain socket. Alternatively, the socket may comprise other types of known sockets (e.g., INET socket). Thus, the web server 222 functions as a pass-through element that enables communication between the requesting device and the diagnostic engine 224. [0021] The diagnostic engine 224 subsequently receives the processed data of the diagnostic request from the web server 222. The diagnostic engine 224 functions to interpret the data within the diagnostic request. The diagnostic engine 224 then invokes the test routines that are specified in the diagnostic request. In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the diagnostic engine 224 can function intelligently to determine which tests are to be invoked based on the information contained in the diagnostic request and based on the history information of the ISS 1. The history information may include knowledge of previous troubleshooting experience and service topology information of the network system 0. The test routines performed by the diagnostic engine 224, when run, check various parts (including the servers and other components) of the clients 170, 180 in the PC 1 and the ISS 1, respectively, and the cable modem 1 itself, according to the Telnet protocol. [0022] The diagnostic engine 224 receives the test results from the executed test routines and then correlates the test results to determine which components within the system are faulty or malfunctioning. The final test results are then sent to the requesting client for display via the web server 222. [0023] The operation of the modem 1 will now be described in more detail. The modem of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, is capable of supporting multiple Telnet sessions, wherein each task can be opened or closed independently. The operation of the modem 1 comprises two threads operating substantially concurrently. In one embodiment of the present invention, a Telnet authentication task in the modem 1 waits for a client to logon. When a new client attempts to connect, the authentication task requests for a user ID and a password required for the client to gain access to the modem 1. When the user ID and password are verified, the Telnet authentication task opens a socket and saves the session information, such as the client IP address and a listening port number. The authentication task then again waits for a new client to logon. The same authentication procedure is followed for each client attempting to logon to the modem 1. If the number of clients reaches a maximum allowable number of clients, determined by the number of available slots that can be provided by the modem 1, the authentication task will reject the next new client. [0024] Operating contemporaneously with the Telnet authentication task is a Telnet sending task. The Telnet sending task waits for the modem 1 to generate the relevant information in response to a request from a client. The generated information is then sent to all of the active Telnet clients. If a specific send function fails (i.e., a send failure in a specific socket), the modem 1 assumes that the client is no longer active (disconnected), and the Telnet sending task will make available the particular client slot associated with the failed send command to the next client attempting to logon. The authentication task which manages the clients logon procedure operates separate from the sending task. If a subsequent client attempts to log on while the Telnet server 190 is sending information to the current clients, the subsequent client is verified as described above and a request from the subsequent client is serviced individually in a subsequent sending task. The sending task will only send information to clients who were previously verified by the authentication task. [002] FIG.3 depicts a flow diagram of an authentication method for providing multiple Telnet sessions, simultaneously in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The method 0 is entered at step 2 in which an authentication task of the Telnet server of the modem receives a request from a client to logon. The method 0 then proceeds to step 4. [0026] At step 4, the method 0 requests for a user ID and a password required for the client to gain access to the modem. The method 0 then proceeds to step 6. [0027] At step 6, the method 0 determines if the user ID and password are valid. If the user ID and password are valid, the method 0 proceeds to step 8. If the user ID and password are not valid, the method 0 rejects the client s attempt to logon and the method 0 is exited. [0028] At step 8, the method 0 determines if there is an open socket available for the requesting client. If there is a socket available for the requesting client, the method 0 proceeds to step 3. If a socket is not available for the requesting client, the method 0 rejects the 4

5 7 EP B1 8 client request and the method 0 is exited. [0029] At step 3, the method 0 saves the session information such as, the client IP address and the client receiving port number. The method 0 then returns to step 2 to wait for a next Telnet client to log on. [00] FIG. 4 depicts a flow diagram of a sending method for providing multiple Telnet sessions simultaneously in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The sending method 0 operates substantially concurrently with the authentication method 0. The method 0 is entered at step 2 in which a sending task of the Telnet server of the modem awaits for the modem to generate the relevant information to be sent to the clients logged on. The method 0 then proceeds to step 4. [0031] At step 4, the method 0 then communicates the generated information to each of the active Telnet clients via a socket with the client destination IP address and receiving port number which were saved in step 3. The method 0 then proceeds to step 6. [0032] At step 6, the method 0 determines if a send function failed to any of the Telnet clients. If a send function failed, the method 0 proceeds to step 8. If there were no send function failures, the method 0 returns to step 2. [0033] At step 8, the method 0 assumes that the client, associated with the slot wherein the send function failed, is no longer active (disconnected), and the sending task will make available the particular client slot associated with the failed send command to the next client attempting to logon. The method 0 then returns to step 2. [0034] While the forgoing is directed to some embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof. As such, the appropriate scope of the invention is to be determined according to the claims, which follow. Claims 1. A method for supporting multiple diagnostic sessions in a bi-directional communication device, said method comprising the steps of: receiving diagnostic session requests from a plurality of requesters (1, 1); verifying identification information for each of said requesters (1, 1); establishing a communications channel for each verified requester; characterized in that it comprises the further steps of: communicating diagnostic information corresponding to a particular one of the diagnostic session requests received from a particular one of said verified requesters to all of said verified requesters via said established communications channels, wherein said establishing a communications channel further comprises saving session information such as, a requester IP address and a requester receiving port number for each of said verified requesters, and wherein the requested information is communicated to each of said verified requesters via an available socket comprising the respective saved session information. 2. The method of claim 1, further characterized by: if communication of information to a requester (1, 1) fails, making available, to a subsequent requester, the communications channel associated with the failed communication. 3. The method of claim 1, characterized in that said identification information comprises a user ID and a password. 4. The method of claim 1, characterized in that said establishing a communications channel comprises assigning an available socket for communication with each verified requester.. The method of claim 4, further characterized by rejecting subsequent requests after a total number of available sockets has been assigned. 6. An apparatus (1) for supporting multiple diagnostic sessions in a bi-directional communication device, said apparatus comprising: a server (190); a memory (2) for storing program instructions; and a processor (2) adapted to execute said instructions to configure the apparatus (1) to perform the steps of: receiving diagnostic session requests from a plurality of requesters (1, 1); verifying identification information for each of said requesters (1, 1); establishing a communications channel for each verified requester; characterized in that the processor is further adapted to execute the steps of: communicating diagnostic information corresponding to a particular one of the diagnostic session requests received from a particular one of said verified requesters to all of said verified requesters via said established communications channels,

6 9 EP B1 wherein said establishing a communications channel further comprises saving session information such as, a requester IP address and a requester receiving port number for each of said verified requesters, and wherein the requested information is communicated to each of said verified requesters via an available socket comprising the respective saved session information. 7. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, further configured to perform the step of: if communication of information to a requester (1, 1) fails, making available, to a subsequent requester, the communications channel associated with the failed communication. 8. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, further configured to perform the steps of: means (222) for receiving Telnet session requests from a plurality of requesters (1, 1); means (224) for verifying identification information for each of said requesters; means (224) for establishing a communications channel for each verified requester; and means (222) for communicating diagnostic information corresponding to a particular one of the diagnostic session requests received from a particular one of said verified requesters to all of said verified requesters via said established communications channels, wherein said establishing a communications channel further comprises saving session information such as, a requester IP address and a requester receiving port number for each of said verified requesters, and wherein the requested information is communicated to each of said verified requesters via an available socket comprising the respective saved session information. rejecting subsequent requests after a total number of available sockets has been assigned. 9. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, characterized in that said establishing a communications channel comprises assigning an available socket for communication with each verified requester.. The apparatus (1) of claim 9, characterized in that said assigned sockets comprise a requester IP address and a requester receiving port number. 11. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, characterized in that said plurality of requesters (1, 1) comprise Telnet clients (170, 180). 12. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, characterized in that said plurality of requesters (1, 1) are network devices. 13. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, characterized in that said server (190) comprises: a web server (222) for enabling communication between a requesting device and a diagnostic engine; and said diagnostic engine (224) for performing the routines that are specified in each of said requests Computer-readable medium for storing a set of instructions, wherein when said set of instructions is executed by a processor perform a method comprising: receiving Telnet session requests from a plurality of requesters; verifying identification information for each of said requesters; establishing a communications channel for each verified requester; characterized in that the method further comprises the steps of: communicating diagnostic information corresponding to a particular one of the diagnostic session requests received from a particular one of said verified requesters to all of said verified requesters via said established communications channels, wherein said establishing a communications channel further comprises saving session information such as, a requester IP address and a requester receiving port number for each of said verified requesters, and wherein the requested information is communicated to each of said verified requesters via an available socket comprising the respective saved session information. 14. The apparatus (1) of claim 6, characterized in that said apparatus comprises a modem.. The apparatus (1) of Claim 6, said processor comprising: 17. A network (0) comprising: at least one subscriber terminal (1) comprising a Telnet client (170) for initiating Telnet session requests; at least one data servicing system (1) com- 6

7 11 EP B1 12 prising a Telnet client (180) for initiating Telnet session requests; and a network device (1) comprising: a Telnet server (190); a memory (2) for storing program instructions; and a processor (2) adapted to execute said instructions to configure said network device (1) to perform the steps of: receiving Telnet session requests from said at least one subscriber terminal and said at least one data servicing system; verifying identification information for each of said requesters; establishing a communications channel for each verified requester; characterized in that the processor is further adapted to execute the steps of: communicating diagnostic information corresponding to a particular one of the diagnostic session requests received from a particular one of said verified requesters to all of said verified requesters via said established communications channels, wherein said establishing a communications channel further comprises saving session information such as, a requester IP address and a requester receiving port number for each of said verified requesters, and wherein the requested information is communicated to each of said verified requesters via an available socket comprising the respective saved session information. 18. The network (0) of claim 17, characterized in that said network device (1) is further configured to perform the step of: if communication of information to a requester (1, 1) fails, making available, to a subsequent requester, the communications channel associated with the failed communication. Patentansprüche 1. Verfahren zum Unterstützen mehrerer Diagnosesitzungen in einer bidirektionalen Kommunikationsvorrichtung, wobei das Verfahren die folgenden Schritte umfasst: Empfangen von Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen von mehreren Anforderern (1, 1); Überprüfen von Identifizierungsinformationen für jeden der Anforderer (1, 1); Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals für jeden überprüften Anforderer; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Verfahren ferner die folgenden Schritte umfasst: Übermitteln von Diagnoseinformationen, die einer Bestimmten der Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen entsprechen, die von einem Bestimmten der überprüften Anforderer empfangen worden ist, über die aufgebauten Kommunikationskanäle an alle überprüften Anforderer, wobei das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals ferner das Sichern von Sitzungsinformationen wie etwa einer IP-Adresse des Anforderers und einer Empfangs-Port- Nummer des Anforderers für jeden der überprüften Anforderer umfasst, und wobei die angeforderten Informationen über ein verfügbares Socket, das die jeweiligen gesicherten Sitzungsinformationen umfasst, an jeden der überprüften Anforderer übermittelt werden. 2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner gekennzeichnet durch: Verfügbarmachen des Kommunikationskanals, der der fehlgeschlagenen Kommunikation zugeordnet ist, für einen nachfolgenden Anforderer, falls die Übermittlung von Informationen an einen Anforderer (1, 1) fehlschlägt. 3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Identifizierungsinformationen eine Nutzer-ID und ein Kennwort umfassen. 4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals das Zuweisen eines verfügbaren Sockets für die Kommunikation mit jedem überprüften Anforderer umfasst.. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, ferner gekennzeichnet durch das Zurückweisen nachfolgender Anforderungen, nachdem eine Gesamtanzahl verfügbarer Sockets zugewiesen worden sind. 6. Vorrichtung (1) zum Unterstützen mehrerer Diagnosesitzungen in einer bidirektionalen Kommunikationsvorrichtung, wobei die Vorrichtung umfasst: einen Server (190); einen Speicher (2) zum Speichern von Programmanweisungen; und 7

8 13 EP B1 14 einen Prozessor (2), der dafür ausgelegt ist, die Anweisungen zum Konfigurieren der Vorrichtung (1) zum Ausführen der folgenden Schritte auszuführen: Empfangen von Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen von mehreren Anforderern (1, 1); Überprüfen von Identifizierungsinformationen für jeden der Anforderer (1, 1); Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals für jeden überprüften Anforderer; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Verfahren ferner dafür ausgelegt ist, die folgenden Schritte auszuführen:. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 9, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die zugewiesenen Sockets eine IP-Adresse des Anforderers und eine Empfangs- Port-Nummer des Anforderers umfassen. 11. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die mehreren Anforderer (1, 1) Telnet-Clients (170, 180) umfassen. 12. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die mehreren Anforderer (1, 1) Netzvorrichtungen sind. 13. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Server (190) umfasst: Übermitteln von Diagnoseinformationen, die einer Bestimmten der Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen entsprechen, die von einem Bestimmten der überprüften Anforderer empfangen worden ist, über die aufgebauten Kommunikationskanäle an alle überprüften Anforderer, wobei das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals ferner das Sichern von Sitzungsinformationen wie etwa einer IP-Adresse des Anforderers und einer Empfangs-Port-Nummer des Anforderers für jeden der überprüften Anforderer umfasst, und wobei die angeforderten Informationen über ein verfügbares Socket, das die jeweiligen gesicherten Sitzungsinformationen umfasst, an jeden der überprüften Anforderer übermittelt werden. 7. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, die ferner zum Ausführen des folgenden Schritts konfiguriert ist: Verfügbarmachen des Kommunikationskanals, der der fehlgeschlagenen Kommunikation zugeordnet ist, für einen nachfolgenden Anforderer, falls die Übermittlung von Informationen an einen Anforderer (1, 1) fehlschlägt. 8. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, die ferner zum Ausführen der folgenden Schritte konfiguriert ist: Zurückweisen nachfolgender Anforderungen, nachdem eine Gesamtanzahl verfügbarer Sockets zugewiesen worden sind. 9. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals das Zuweisen eines verfügbaren Sockets für die Kommunikation mit jedem überprüften Anforderer umfasst einen Web-Server (222) zum Ermöglichen der Kommunikation zwischen einer anfordernden Vorrichtung und einer Diagnosemaschine; und die Diagnosemaschine (224) zum Ausführen der Routinen, die in jeder der Anforderungen spezifiziert sind. 14. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Vorrichtung ein Modem umfasst.. Vorrichtung (1) nach Anspruch 6, wobei der Prozessor umfasst: Mittel (222) zum Empfangen von Telnet-Sitzungs-Anforderungen von mehreren Anforderern (1, 1); Mittel (224) zum Überprüfen von Identifizierungsinformationen für jeden der Anforderer; Mittel (224) zum Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals für jeden überprüften Anforderer; und Mittel (222) zum Übermitteln von Diagnoseinformationen, die einer Bestimmten der Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen entsprechen, die von einem Bestimmten der überprüften Anforderer empfangen worden ist, über die aufgebauten Kommunikationskanäle an alle überprüften Anforderer, wobei das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals ferner das Sichern von Sitzungsinformationen wie etwa einer IP-Adresse des Anforderers und einer Empfangs-Port-Nummer des Anforderers für jeden der überprüften Anforderer umfasst, und wobei die angeforderten Informationen über ein verfügbares Socket, das die jeweiligen gesicherten Sitzungsinformationen umfasst, an jeden der überprüften Anforderer übermittelt werden. 16. Computerlesbares Medium zum Speichern eines Satzes von Anweisungen, wobei, wenn der Satz von 8

9 EP B1 16 Anweisungen durch einen Prozessor ausgeführt wird, ein Verfahren ausgeführt wird, das umfasst: Verfahren ferner dafür ausgelegt ist, die folgenden Schritte auszuführen: Empfangen von Telnet-Sitzungs-Anforderungen von mehreren Anforderern; Überprüfen von Identifizierungsinformationen für jeden der Anforderer; Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals für jeden überprüften Anforderer; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Verfahren ferner die folgenden Schritte umfasst: Übermitteln von Diagnoseinformationen, die einer Bestimmten der Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen entsprechen, die von einem Bestimmten der überprüften Anforderer empfangen worden ist, über die aufgebauten Kommunikationskanäle an alle überprüften Anforderer, wobei das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals ferner das Sichern von Sitzungsinformationen wie etwa einer IP-Adresse des Anforderers und einer Empfangs-Port- Nummer des Anforderers für jeden der überprüften Anforderer umfasst, und wobei die angeforderten Informationen über ein verfügbares Socket, das die jeweiligen gesicherten Sitzungsinformationen umfasst, an jeden der überprüften Anforderer übermittelt werden. 17. Netz (0), das umfasst: mindestens ein Teilnehmerendgerät (1), das einen Telnet-Client (170) zum Initiieren von Telnet-Sitzungs-Anforderungen umfasst; mindestens ein Datenwartungssystem (1), das einen Telnet-Client (180) zum Initiieren von Telnet-Sitzungs-Anforderungen umfasst; und eine Netzvorrichtung (1), die umfasst: 2 3 Übermitteln von Diagnoseinformationen, die einer Bestimmten der Diagnosesitzungsanforderungen entsprechen, die von einem Bestimmten der überprüften Anforderer empfangen worden ist, über die aufgebauten Kommunikationskanäle an alle überprüften Anforderer, wobei das Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals ferner das Sichern von Sitzungsinformationen wie etwa einer IP-Adresse des Anforderers und einer Empfangs- Port-Nummer des Anforderers für jeden der überprüften Anforderer umfasst, und wobei die angeforderten Informationen über ein verfügbares Socket, das die jeweiligen gesicherten Sitzungsinformationen umfasst, an jeden der überprüften Anforderer übermittelt werden. 18. Netz (0) nach Anspruch 17, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Netzvorrichtung (1) ferner dafür konfiguriert ist, den folgenden Schritt auszuführen: Verfügbarmachen des Kommunikationskanals, der der fehlgeschlagenen Kommunikation zugeordnet ist, für einen nachfolgenden Anforderer, falls die Übermittlung von Informationen an einen Anforderer (1, 1) fehlschlägt. Revendications einen Telnet-Server (190); einen Speicher (2) zum Speichern von Programmanweisungen; und einen Prozessor (2), der dafür ausgelegt ist, die Anweisungen zum Konfigurieren der Netzvorrichtung (1) zum Ausführen der folgenden Schritte auszuführen: Empfangen von Telnet-Sitzungs-Anforderungen von mindestens einem Teilnehmerendgerät und von dem mindestens einen Datenwartungssystem; Überprüfen von Identifizierungsinformationen für jeden der Anforderer; Aufbauen eines Kommunikationskanals für jeden überprüften Anforderer; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Procédé permettant de prendre en charge plusieurs sessions de diagnostic dans un dispositif de communication bi-directionnel, ledit procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes : réception de demandes de sessions de diagnostic en provenance d une pluralité de demandeurs (1, 1) ; vérification des informations d identification pour chacun desdits demandeurs (1, 1) ; mise en place de canaux de communication pour chacun des demandeurs vérifiés ; caractérisé en ce qu il comprend les étapes supplémentaires de communication des informations de diagnostic correspondant à l une des demandes de sessions de diagnostic reçues de l un desdits de- 9

10 17 EP B1 18 mandeurs vérifiés vers tous lesdits demandeurs vérifiés via lesdits canaux de communication établis, dans lequel ladite mise en place d un canal de communications comprend en outre la sauvegarde d informations de session telles que, une adresse IP de demandeur et un numéro de port de réception de demandeur pour chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés, et dans lequel les informations demandées sont communiquées à chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés via un connecteur disponible comprenant les informations de session sauvegardées respectives. 2. Le procédé de la revendication 1, caractérisé en outre par : si la communication des informations à un demandeur (1, 1) échoue, rendre disponible, pour un demandeur ultérieur, le canal de communication associé à la communication ayant échoué. caractérisé en ce que le processeur est en outre adapté à exécuter les étapes suivantes : communication d informations de diagnostic correspondant à l une des demandes de sessions de diagnostic reçues de l un desdits demandeurs vérifiés via lesdits canaux de communication établis, dans lequel la mise en place d un canal de communication comprend en outre la sauvegarde d informations de session telles qu une adresse IP de demandeur et un numéro de port de réception de demandeur pour chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés, et dans lequel les informations demandées sont communiquées à chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés via un connecteur disponible comprenant les informations de sessions respectives sauvegardées. 3. Le procédé de la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que lesdites informations d identification comprennent un ID utilisateur et un mot de passe. 4. Le procédé de la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ladite mise en place d un canal de communication comprend l attribution d un connecteur disponible pour la communication avec chaque demandeur vérifié.. Le procédé de la revendication 4, caractérisé en outre par le rejet de demandes subséquentes après attribution d un nombre total de connecteurs disponibles. 6. Appareil (1) permettant de prendre en charge plusieurs sessions de diagnostic dans un dispositif de communication bi-directionnel, ledit appareil comprenant : un serveur (190) ; une mémoire (2) permettant le stockage des instructions de programme ; et un processeur (2) adapté pour exécuter lesdites instructions afin de configurer l appareil (1) pour effectuer les étapes suivantes : L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, configuré en outre afin d effectuer l étape suivante : si la communication des informations à un demandeur échoue (1, 1), rendre disponible, à un demandeur ultérieur, le canal de communication associé à la communication ayant échoué. 8. L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, configuré en outre pour effectuer les étapes suivantes : rejeter les demandes subséquentes après qu un nombre total de connecteurs disponibles a été attribué. 9. L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que ladite mise en place d un canal de communication comprend l attribution d un connecteur disponible pour la communication avec chaque demandeur vérifié.. L appareil (1) de la revendication 9, caractérisé en ce que lesdits connecteurs attribués comprennent une adresse IP de demandeur et un numéro de port de réception de demandeur. réception de demandes de sessions de diagnostic en provenance d une pluralité de demandeurs (1, 1); vérification des informations d identification de chacun desdits demandeurs (1, 1); mise en place d un canal de communication pour chacun des demandeurs vérifiés ; 11. L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que ladite pluralité de demandeurs (1, 1) comprend des clients Telnet (170, 180) 12. L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que ladite pluralité de demandeurs (1, 1) sont des dispositifs de réseau.

11 19 EP B1 13. L appareil (1) selon la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que ledit serveur (190) comprend : un serveur Web (222) pour activer la communication entre un dispositif de demande et un moteur de diagnostic ; et ledit moteur de diagnostic (224) pour effectuer les routines qui sont spécifiées dans chacune desdites demandes. 14. L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que ledit appareil comprend un modem.. L appareil (1) de la revendication 6, ledit processeur comprenant : un moyen permettant de recevoir des demandes de sessions Telnet en provenance d une pluralité de demandeurs (1, 1) ; un moyen (224) permettant de vérifier les informations d identification pour chacun desdits demandeurs ; un moyen (224) permettant de mettre en place un canal de communication pour chacun des demandeurs vérifiés ; et un moyen (222) permettant de communiquer des informations de diagnostic correspondant à l une des demandes de sessions de diagnostic reçues de l un desdits demandeurs vérifiés vers tous lesdits demandeurs vérifiés via lesdits canaux de communication établis, dans lequel ladite mise en place d un canal de communications comprend en outre la sauvegarde d informations de session telles que, une adresse IP de demandeur et un numéro de port de réception de demandeur pour chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés, et dans lequel les informations demandées sont communiquées à chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés via un connecteur disponible comprenant les informations de sessions respectives sauvegardées. 16. Support lisible par un ordinateur, permettant le stockage d un ensemble d instructions, dans lequel lorsque ledit ensemble d instructions est exécuté par un processeur, celui-ci effectue un procédé comprenant : la réception de demandes de sessions Telnet en provenance d une pluralité de demandeurs ; la vérification d informations d identification pour chacun desdits demandeurs ; la mise en place d un canal de communication pour chacun des demandeurs vérifiés et caractérisé en ce que le procédé comprend en outre les étapes supplémentaires suivantes : la communication des informations de diagnostic correspondant à l une des demandes de sessions de diagnostic reçues de l un desdits demandeurs vérifiés vers tous lesdits demandeurs vérifiés via lesdits canaux de communication établis, dans lequel ladite mise en place d un canal de communications comprend en outre la sauvegarde d informations de session telles que, une adresse IP de demandeur et un numéro de port de réception de demandeur pour chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés, et dans lequel les informations demandées sont communiquées à chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés via un connecteur disponible comprenant les informations de sessions respectives sauvegardées. 17. Un réseau (0) comprenant : au moins un terminal souscripteur (1) comprenant un client Telnet (170) pour lancer les demandes de sessions Telnet ; au moins un système de transmission des données(1) comprenant un client Telnet (180) pour lancer les demandes de sessions Telnet ; et un dispositif réseau (1) comprenant : un serveur Telnet (190) ; une mémoire (2) permettant le stockage d instructions de programme ; et un processeur (2) adapté pour exécuter lesdites instructions pour configurer ledit dispositif réseau (1) pour effectuer les étapes suivantes : réception de demandes de sessions Telnet à partir d au moins un terminal souscripteur et ledit au moins un système de transmission des données vérification des informations d identification pour chacun desdits demandeurs ; mise en place de canaux de communication pour chacun des demandeurs vérifiés et caractérisé en ce que le processeur est en outre adapté pour effectuer les étapes suivantes : communication des informations de diagnostic correspondant à l une des demandes de sessions de diagnostic reçues de l un desdits demandeurs vérifiés vers tous lesdits demandeurs vérifiés via lesdits canaux de communication établis, dans lequel ladite mise en place d un canal 11

12 21 EP B1 22 de communications comprend en outre la sauvegarde d informations de session telles que, une adresse IP de demandeur et un numéro de port de réception de demandeur pour chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés, et dans lequel les informations demandées sont communiquées à chacun desdits demandeurs vérifiés via un connecteur disponible comprenant les informations de sessions respectives. 18. Le réseau (0) de la revendication 17, caractérisé en ce que ledit dispositif réseau (1) est configuré en outre afin effectuer l étape suivante : si la communication des informations à un demandeur échoue (1, 1), rendre disponible, à un demandeur ultérieur, le canal de communication associé à la communication ayant échoué

13 EP B1 13

14 EP B1 14

15 EP B1 REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader s convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard. Patent documents cited in the description US P [0001] Non-patent literature cited in the description SmartSTACK ELS0-S24TX2M fast Ethernet switch management guide. Cabletron System, 01 January 00 [0008] Portable RIP, PPP, Alerter & Telnet Options. InterNiche Technologies, 01 June 1999 [0008]

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