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The necessity to keep acceptable service quality levels in IP networks is undeniable nowadays, particularly with the improvement of the next generation networks. This promotes the use and justifies the need for solutions that enable network measurement and monitoring. Network measurement and performance data acquisition is currently a target of many research and development efforts, mainly due to its applicability in different situations, including network traffic engineering. In this field, there are two measurement approaches: passive and active. Passive measurement is based on the observation of ordinary traffic of an operational network, without the introduction of any kind of traffic in the monitoring probe. On the other hand, the active approach tries to acquire performance indicators using a controlled traffic generation and transmission through the analyzed network Knowing the potentialities and deficiencies of such techniques, and specifically directing our interest to IP network traffic engineering, this paper emphasizes the active measurement particularities, proposing the project, modeling and implementation of a standardized and extensible architecture for this kind of measurement. We try to join together different metric acquisition processes in a unified system. To do so, we present the architecture entities and the conceived and implemented protocol that are used for communication between these entities, highlighting the technique used to minimize the traffic impact in the ongoing network operation. Finally, we also introduce the idea behind the architecture flexibility through its plug-in approximation.