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INFORMATIONAL

Network Working Group                                       D. Newman
Request for Comments: 2647                        Data Communications
Category: Informational                                   August 1999


           Benchmarking Terminology for Firewall Performance

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................2
   2. Existing definitions...........................................2
   3. Term definitions...............................................3
   3.1 Allowed traffic...............................................3
   3.2 Application proxy.............................................3
   3.3 Authentication................................................4
   3.4 Bit forwarding rate...........................................5
   3.5 Circuit proxy.................................................6
   3.6 Concurrent connections........................................6
   3.7 Connection....................................................7
   3.8 Connection establishment......................................9
   3.9 Connection establishment time.................................9
   3.10 Connection maintenance......................................10
   3.11 Conection overhead..........................................11
   3.12 Connection teardown.........................................11
   3.13 Connection teardown time....................................12
   3.14 Data source.................................................12
   3.15 Demilitarized zone..........................................13
   3.16 Firewall....................................................13
   3.17 Goodput.....................................................14
   3.18 Homed.......................................................15
   3.19 Illegal traffic.............................................15
   3.20 Logging.....................................................16
   3.21 Network address translation.................................16
   3.22 Packet filtering............................................17
   3.23 Policy......................................................17
   3.24 Protected network...........................................18
   3.25 Proxy.......................................................19
   3.26 Rejected traffic............................................19



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   3.27 Rule set....................................................20
   3.28 Security association........................................20
   3.29 Stateful packet filtering...................................21
   3.30 Tri-homed...................................................22
   3.31 Unit of transfer............................................22
   3.32 Unprotected network.........................................23
   3.33 User........................................................23
   4. Security considerations.......................................24
   5. References....................................................25
   6. Acknowledgments...............................................25
   7. Contact Information...........................................25
   8. Full Copyright Statement......................................26

1. Introduction

   This document defines terms used in measuring the performance of
   firewalls. It extends the terminology already used for benchmarking
   routers and switches with definitions specific to firewalls.

   Forwarding rate and connection-oriented measurements are the primary
   metrics used in this document.

   Why do we need firewall performance measurements? First, despite the
   rapid rise in firewall deployment, there is no standard method of
   performance measurement. Second, implementations vary widely, making
   it difficult to do direct performance comparisons. Finally, more and
   more organizations are deploying firewalls on internal networks
   operating at relatively high speeds, while most firewall
   implementations remain optimized for use over relatively low-speed
   wide-area connections. As a result, users are often unsure whether
   the products they buy will stand up to relatively heavy loads.

2. Existing definitions

   This document uses the conceptual framework established in RFCs 1242
   and 2544 (for routers) and RFC 2285 (for switches). The router and
   switch documents contain discussions of several terms relevant to
   benchmarking the performance of firewalls. Readers should consult the
   router and switch documents before making use of this document.

   This document uses the definition format described in RFC 1242,
   Section 2. The sections in each definition are: definition,
   discussion, measurement units (optional), issues (optional), and
   cross-references.







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3. Term definitions

3.1 Allowed traffic

   Definition:
     Packets forwarded as a result of the rule set of the device under
     test/system under test (DUT/SUT).

   Discussion:
     Firewalls typically are configured to forward only those packets
     explicitly permitted in the rule set. Forwarded packets must be
     included in calculating the bit forwarding rate or maximum bit
     forwarding rate of the DUT/SUT. All other packets must not be
     included in bit forwarding rate calculations.

     This document assumes 1:1 correspondence of allowed traffic offered
     to the DUT/SUT and forwarded by the DUT/SUT. There are cases where
     the DUT/SUT may forward more traffic than it is offered; for
     example, the DUT/SUT may act as a mail exploder or a multicast
     server. Any attempt to benchmark forwarding rates of such traffic
     must include a description of how much traffic the tester expects
     to be forwarded.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     policy
     rule set

3.2 Application proxy

   Definition:
     A proxy service that is set up and torn down in response to a
     client request, rather than existing on a static basis.

   Discussion:
     Circuit proxies always forward packets containing a given port
     number if that port number is permitted by the rule set.
     Application proxies, in contrast, forward packets only once a
     connection has been established using some known protocol. When the
     connection closes, a firewall using applicaton proxies rejects
     individual packets, even if they contain port numbers allowed by a
     rule set.





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   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     circuit proxy
     rule sets

   See also:
     allowed traffic
     circuit proxy
     proxy
     rejected traffic
     rule set

3.3 Authentication

   Definition:
     The process of verifying that a user requesting a network resource
     is who he, she, or it claims to be, and vice versa.

   Discussion:
     Trust is a critical concept in network security. Any network
     resource (such as a file server or printer) typically requires
     authentication before granting access.

     Authentication takes many forms, including but not limited to IP
     addresses; TCP or UDP port numbers; passwords; external token
     authentication cards; and biometric identification such as
     signature, speech, or retina recognition systems.

     The entity being authenticated might be the client machine (for
     example, by proving that a given IP source address really is that
     address, and not a rogue machine spoofing that address) or a user
     (by proving that the user really is who he, she, or it claims to
     be).  Servers might also authenticate themselves to clients.

     Testers should be aware that in an increasingly mobile society,
     authentication based on machine-specific criteria such as an IP
     address or port number is not equivalent to verifying that a given
     individual is making an access request. At this writing systems
     that verify the identity of users are typically external to the
     firewall, and may introduce additional latency to the overall SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:




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   See also:
     user

3.4 Bit forwarding rate

   Definition:
     The number of bits per second of allowed traffic a DUT/SUT can be
     observed to transmit to the correct destination interface(s) in
     response to a specified offered load.

   Discussion:
     This definition differs substantially from section 3.17 of RFC 1242
     and section 3.6.1 of RFC 2285.

     Unlike both RFCs 1242 and 2285, this definition introduces the
     notion of different classes of traffic: allowed, illegal, and
     rejected (see definitions for each term). For benchmarking
     purposes, it is assumed that bit forwarding rate measurements
     include only allowed traffic.

     Unlike RFC 1242, there is no reference to lost or retransmitted
     data.  Forwarding rate is assumed to be a goodput measurement, in
     that only data successfully forwarded to the destination interface
     is measured.  Bit forwarding rate must be measured in relation to
     the offered load.  Bit forwarding rate may be measured with
     differed load levels, traffic orientation, and traffic
     distribution.

     Unlike RFC 2285, this measurement counts bits per second rather
     than frames per second. Testers interested in frame (or frame-like)
     measurements should use units of transfer.

   Unit of measurement:
     bits per second

   Issues:
     Allowed traffic vs. rejected traffic

   See also:
     allowed traffic
     goodput
     illegal traffic
     rejected traffic
     unit of transfer







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3.5 Circuit proxy

   Definition:
     A proxy service that statically defines which traffic will be
     forwarded.

   Discussion:
     The key difference between application and circuit proxies is that
     the latter are static and thus will always set up a connection if
     the DUT/SUT's rule set allows it. For example, if a firewall's rule
     set permits ftp connections, a circuit proxy will always forward
     traffic on TCP port 20 (ftp-data) even if no control connection was
     first established on TCP port 21 (ftp-control).

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     application proxy
     rule sets

   See also:
     allowed traffic
     application proxy
     proxy
     rejected traffic
     rule set

3.6 Concurrent connections

   Definition:
     The aggregate number of simultaneous connections between hosts
     across the DUT/SUT, or between hosts and the DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     The number of concurrent connections a firewall can support is just
     as important a metric for some users as maximum bit forwarding
     rate.

     While "connection" describes only a state and not necessarily the
     transfer of data, concurrency assumes that all existing connections
     are in fact capable of transferring data. If a data cannot be sent
     over a connection, that connection should not be counted toward the
     number of concurrent connections.

     Further, this definition assumes that the ability (or lack thereof)
     to transfer data on a given connection is solely the responsibility
     of the DUT/SUT. For example, a TCP connection that a DUT/SUT has



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     left in a FIN_WAIT_2 state clearly should not be counted. But
     another connection that has temporarily stopped transferring data
     because some external device has restricted the flow of data is not
     necessarily defunct. The tester should take measures to isolate
     changes in connection state to those effected by the DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     Concurrent connections
     Maximum number of concurrent connections

   Issues:

   See also:
     connections
     connection establishment time
     connection overhead

3.7 Connection

   Definition:
     A state in which two hosts, or a host and the DUT/SUT, agree to
     exchange data using a known protocol.

   Discussion:
     A connection is an abstraction describing an agreement between two
     nodes: One agrees to send data and the other agrees to receive it.

     Connections might use TCP, but they don't have to. Other protocols
     such as ATM also might be used, either instead of or in addition to
     TCP connections.

     What constitutes a connection depends on the application. For a
     native ATM application, connections and virtual circuits may be
     synonymous. For TCP/IP applications on ATM networks (where multiple
     TCP connections may ride over a single ATM virtual circuit), the
     number of TCP connections may be the most important consideration.

     Additionally, in some cases firewalls may handle a mixture of
     native TCP and native ATM connections. In this situation, the
     wrappers around user data will differ. The most meaningful metric
     describes what an end-user will see.

     Data connections describe state, not data transfer. The existence
     of a connection does not imply that data travels on that connection
     at any given time, although if data cannot be forwarded on a
     previously established connection that connection should not be
     considered in any aggregrate connection count (see concurrent
     connections).



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     A firewall's architecture dictates where a connection terminates.
     In the case of application or circuit proxy firewalls, a connection
     terminates at the DUT/SUT. But firewalls using packet filtering or
     stateful packet filtering designs act only as passthrough devices,
     in that they reside between two connection endpoints. Regardless of
     firewall architecture, the number of data connections is still
     relevant, since all firewalls perform some form of connection
     maintenance; at the  very least, all check connection requests
     against their rule sets.

     Further, note that connection is not an atomic unit of measurement
     in that it does not describe the various steps involved in
     connection setup, maintenance, and teardown. Testers may wish to
     take separate measurements of each of these components.

     When benchmarking firewall performance, it's important to identify
     the connection establishment and teardown procedures, as these must
     not be included when measuring steady-state forwarding rates.
     Further, forwarding rates must be measured only after any security
     associations have been established.

     Though it seems paradoxical, connectionless protocols such as UDP
     may also involve connections, at least for the purposes of firewall
     performance measurement. For example, one host may send UDP packets
     to another across a firewall. If the destination host is listening
     on the correct UDP port, it receives the UDP packets. For the
     purposes of firewall performance measurement, this is considered a
     connection.

   Unit of measurement:
     concurrent connections
     connection
     connection establishment time
     maximum number of concurrent connections
     connection teardown time

   Issues:
     application proxy vs. stateful packet filtering
     TCP/IP vs. ATM

     connection-oriented vs. connectionless

   See also:
     data source
     concurrent connections
     connection establishment





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     connection establishment time
     connection teardown
     connection teardown time

3.8 Connection establishment

   Definition:
     The data exchanged between hosts, or between a host and the
     DUT/SUT, to initiate a connection.

   Discussion:
     Connection-oriented protocols like TCP have a proscribed
     handshaking procedure when launching a connection. When
     benchmarking firewall performance, it is import to identify this
     handshaking procedure so that it is not included in measurements of
     bit forwarding rate or UOTs per second.

     Testers may also be interested in measurements of connection
     establishment time through or with a given DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   See also:
     connection
     connection establishement time
     connection maintenance
     connection teardown

   Issues:
     not applicable

3.9 Connection establishment time

   Definition:
     The length of time needed for two hosts, or a host and the DUT/SUT,
     to agree to set up a connection using a known protocol.

   Discussion:
     Each connection-oriented protocol has its own defined mechanisms
     for setting up a connection. For purposes of benchmarking firewall
     performance, this shall be the interval between receipt of the
     first bit of the first octet of the packet carrying a connection
     establishment request on a DUT/SUT interface until transmission of
     the last bit of the last octet of the last packet of the connection
     setup traffic headed in the opposite direction.





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     This definition applies only to connection-oriented protocols such
     as TCP. For connectionless protocols such as UDP, the notion of
     connection establishment time is not meaningful.

   Unit of measurement:
     Connection establishment time

   Issues:

   See also:
     concurrent connections
     connection
     connection maintenance

3.10 Connection maintenance

   Definition:
     The data exchanged between hosts, or between a host and the
     DUT/SUT, to ensure a connection is kept alive.

   Discussion:
     Some implementations of TCP and other connection-oriented protocols
     use "keep-alive" data to maintain a connection during periods where
     no user data is exchanged.

     When benchmarking firewall performance, it is useful to identfy
     connection maintenance traffic as distinct from UOTs per second.
     Given that maintenance traffic may be characterized by short bursts
     at periodical intervals, it may not be possible to describe a
     steady-state forwarding rate for maintenance traffic. One possible
     approach is to identify the quantity of maintenance traffic, in
     bytes or bits, over a given interval, and divide through to derive
     a measurement of maintenance traffic forwarding rate.

   Unit of measurement:
     maintenance traffic
     forwarding rate

   See also:
     connection
     connection establishment time
     connection teardown
     connection teardown time

   Issues:
     not applicable





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3.11 Connection overhead

   Definition:
     The degradation in bit forwarding rate, if any, observed as a
     result of the addition of one connection between two hosts through
     the DUT/SUT, or the addition of one connection from a host to the
     DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     The memory cost of connection establishment and maintenance is
     highly implementation-specific. This metric is intended to describe
     that cost in a method visible outside the firewall.

     It may also be desirable to invert this metric to show the
     performance improvement as a result of tearing down one connection.

   Unit of measurement:
     bit forwarding rate

   Issues:

3.12 Connection teardown

   Definition:
     The data exchanged between hosts, or between a host and the
     DUT/SUT, to close a connection.

   Discussion:
     Connection-oriented protocols like TCP follow a stated procedure
     when ending a connection. When benchmarking firewall performance,
     it is important to identify the teardown procedure so that it is
     not included in measurements of bit forwarding rate or UOTs per
     second.

     Testers may also be interested in measurements of connection
     teardown time through or with a given DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   See also:
     connection teardown time

   Issues:
     not applicable






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3.13 Connection teardown time

   Definition:
     The length of time needed for two hosts, or a host and the DUT/SUT,
     to agree to tear down a connection using a known protocol.

   Discussion:
     Each connection-oriented protocol has its own defined mechanisms
     for dropping a connection. For purposes of benchmarking firewall
     performance, this shall be the interval between receipt of the
     first bit of the first octet of the packet carrying a connection
     teardown request on a DUT/SUT interface until transmission of the
     last bit of the last octet of the last packet of the connection
     teardown traffic headed in the opposite direction.

     This definition applies only to connection-oriented protocols such
     as TCP. For connectionless protocols such as UDP, the notion of
     connection teardown time is not meaningful.

   Unit of measurement:
     Connection teardown time

   Issues:

   See also:
     concurrent connections
     connection
     connection maintenance

3.14 Data source

   Definition:
     A host capable of generating traffic to the DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     One data source may emulate multiple users or hosts. In addition,
     one data source may offer traffic to multiple network interfaces on
     the DUT/SUT.

     The term "data source" is deliberately independent of any number of
     users. It is useful to think of data sources simply as traffic
     generators, without any correlation to any given number of users.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     user



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   See also:
     connection
     user

3.15 Demilitarized zone

   Definition:
     A network segment or segments located between protected and
     unprotected networks.

   Discussion:
     As an extra security measure, networks may be designed such that
     protected and unprotected segments are never directly connected.
     Instead, firewalls (and possibly public resources such as HTTP or
     FTP servers) reside on a so-called DMZ network.

     DMZ networks are sometimes called perimeter networks.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     Homed

   See also:
     protected network
     unprotected network

3.16 Firewall

   Definition:
     A device or group of devices that enforces an access control policy
     between networks.

   Discussion:
     While there are many different ways to accomplish it, all firewalls
     do the same thing: control access between networks.

     The most common configuration involves a firewall connecting two
     segments (one protected and one unprotected), but this is not the
     only possible configuration. Many firewalls support tri-homing,
     allowing use of a DMZ network. It is possible for a firewall to
     accommodate more than three interfaces, each attached to a
     different network segment.

     The criteria by which access are controlled are not specified here.
     Typically this has been done using network- or transport-layer
     criteria (such as IP subnet or TCP port number), but there is no



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     reason this must always be so. A growing number of firewalls are
     controlling access at the application layer, using user
     identification as the criterion. And firewalls for ATM networks may
     control access based on data link-layer criteria.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     DMZ
     tri-homed
     user

3.17 Goodput

   Definition:
     The number of bits per unit of time forwarded to the correct
     destination interface of the DUT/SUT, minus any bits lost or
     retransmitted.

   Discussion:
     Firewalls are generally insensitive to packet loss in the network.
     As such, measurements of gross bit forwarding rates are not
     meaningful since (in the case of proxy-based and stateful packet
     filtering firewalls) a receiving endpoint directly attached to a
     DUT/SUT would not receive any data dropped by the DUT/SUT.

     The type of traffic lost or retransmitted is protocol-dependent.
     TCP and ATM, for example, request different types  of
     retransmissions.  Testers must observe retransmitted data for the
     protocol in use, and subtract this quantity from measurements of
     gross bit forwarding rate.

   Unit of measurement:
     bits per second

   Issues:
     allowed vs. rejected traffic

   See also:
     allowed traffic
     bit forwarding rate
     rejected traffic






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3.18 Homed

   Definition:
     The number of logical interfaces a DUT/SUT contains.

   Discussion:
     Firewalls typically contain at least two logical interfaces. In
     network topologies where a DMZ is used, the firewall usually
     contains at least three interfaces and is said to be tri-homed.
     Additional interfaces would make a firewall quad-homed, quint-
     homed, and so on.

     It is theoretically possible for a firewall to contain one physical
     interface and multiple logical interfaces. This configuration is
     discouraged for testing purposes because of the difficulty in
     verifying that no leakage occurs between protected and unprotected
     segments.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     tri-homed

3.19 Illegal traffic

   Definition:
     Packets specified for rejection in the rule set of the DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     A buggy or misconfigured firewall might forward packets even though
     its rule set specifies that these packets be dropped. Illegal
     traffic differs from rejected traffic in that it describes all
     traffic specified for rejection by the rule set, while rejected
     traffic specifies only those packets actually dropped by the
     DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:








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   See also:
     accepted traffic
     policy
     rejected traffic
     rule set

3.20 Logging

   Definition:
     The recording of user requests made to the firewall.

   Discussion:
     Firewalls typically log all requests they handle, both allowed and
     rejected. For many firewall designs, logging requires a significant
     amount of processing overhead, especially when complex rule sets
     are in use.

     The type and amount of data logged varies by implementation.
     Testers may find it desirable to log equivalent data when comparing
     different DUT/SUTs.

     Some systems allow logging to take place on systems other than the
     DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     rule sets

   See also:
     allowed traffic
     connection
     rejected traffic

3.21 Network address translation

   Definition:
     A method of mapping one or more private, reserved IP addresses to
     one or more public IP addresses.

   Discussion:
     In the interest of conserving the IPv4 address space, RFC 1918
     proposed the use of certain private (reserved) blocks of IP
     addresses. Connections to public networks are made by use of a
     device that translates one or more RFC 1918 addresses to one or
     more public addresses--a network address translator (NAT).




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     The use of private addressing also introduces a security benefit in
     that RFC 1918 addresses are not visible to hosts on the public
     Internet.

     Some NAT implementations are computationally intensive, and may
     affect bit forwarding rate.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:

3.22  Packet filtering

   Definition:
     The process of controlling access by examining packets based on the
     content of packet headers.

   Discussion:
     Packet-filtering devices forward or deny packets based on
     information in each packet's header, such as IP address or TCP port
     number. A packet-filtering firewall uses a rule set to determine
     which traffic should be forwarded and which should be blocked.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     static vs. stateful packet filtering

   See also:
     application proxy
     circuit proxy
     proxy
     rule set
     stateful packet filtering

3.23 Policy

   Definition:
     A document defining acceptable access to protected, DMZ, and
     unprotected networks.







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   Discussion:
     Security policies generally do not spell out specific
     configurations for firewalls; rather, they set general guidelines
     for what is and is not acceptable network access.

     The actual mechanism for controlling access is usually the rule set
     implemented in the DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     rule set

3.24 Protected network

   Definition:
     A network segment or segments to which access is controlled by the
     DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     Firewalls are intended to prevent unauthorized access either to or
     from the protected network. Depending on the configuration
     specified by the policy and rule set, the DUT/SUT may allow hosts
     on the protected segment to act as clients for servers on either
     the DMZ or the unprotected network, or both.

     Protected networks are often called "internal networks." That term
     is not used here because firewalls increasingly are deployed within
     an organization, where all segments are by definition internal.

   Unit of measurement:

   not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     demilitarized zone (DMZ)
     unprotected network
     policy
     rule set
     unprotected network






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3.25 Proxy

   Definition:
     A request for a connection made on behalf of a host.

   Discussion:
     Proxy-based firewalls do not allow direct connections between
     hosts.  Instead, two connections are established: one between the
     client host and the DUT/SUT, and another between the DUT/SUT and
     server host.

     As with packet-filtering firewalls, proxy-based devices use a rule
     set to determine which traffic should be forwarded and which should
     be rejected.

     There are two types of proxies: application proxies and circuit
     proxies.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     application

   See also:
     application proxy
     circuit proxy
     packet filtering
     stateful packet filtering

3.26 Rejected traffic

   Definition:
     Packets dropped as a result of the rule set of the DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     For purposes of benchmarking firewall performance, it is expected
     that firewalls will reject all traffic not explicitly permitted in
     the rule set. Dropped packets must not be included in calculating
     the bit forwarding rate or maximum bit forwarding rate of the
     DUT/SUT.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:





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   See also:
     allowed traffic
     illegal traffic
     policy
     rule set

3.27 Rule set

   Definition:
     The collection of access control rules that determines which
     packets the DUT/SUT will forward and which it will reject.

   Discussion:
     Rule sets control access to and from the network interfaces of the

     DUT/SUT. By definition, rule sets do not apply equally to all
     network interfaces; otherwise there would be no need for the
     firewall. For benchmarking purposes, a specific rule set is
     typically applied to each network interface in the DUT/SUT.

     The tester must describe the complete contents of the rule set of
     each DUT/SUT.

     To ensure measurements reflect only traffic forwarded by the
     DUT/SUT, testers are encouraged to include a rule denying all
     access except for those packets allowed by the rule set.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     allowed traffic
     demilitarized zone (DMZ)
     illegal traffic
     policy
     protected network
     rejected traffic
     unprotected network

3.28 Security association

   Definition:
     The set of security information relating to a given network
     connection or set of connections.





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   Discussion:
     This definition covers the relationship between policy and
     connections. Security associations (SAs) are typically set up
     during connection establishment, and they may be reiterated or
     revoked during a connection.

     For purposes of benchmarking firewall performance, measurements of
     bit forwarding rate or UOTs per second must be taken after all
     security associations have been established.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   See also:
     connection
     connection establishment
     policy
     rule set

3.29 Stateful packet filtering

   Definition:
     The process of forwarding or rejecting traffic based on the
     contents of a state table maintained by a firewall.

   Discussion:
     Packet filtering and proxy firewalls are essentially static, in
     that they always forward or reject packets based on the contents of
     the rule set.

     In contrast, devices using stateful packet filtering will only
     forward packets if they correspond with state information
     maintained by the device about each connection. For example, a
     stateful packet filtering device will reject a packet on port 20
     (ftp-data) if no connection has been established over the ftp
     control port (usually port 21).

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     applicaton proxy
     packet filtering
     proxy





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3.30 Tri-homed

   Definition:
     A firewall with three network interfaces.

   Discussion:
     Tri-homed firewalls connect three network segments with different
     network addresses. Typically, these would be protected, DMZ, and
     unprotected segments.

     A tri-homed firewall may offer some security advantages over
     firewalls with two interfaces. An attacker on an unprotected
     network may compromise hosts on the DMZ but still not reach any
     hosts on the protected network.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:
     Usually the differentiator between one segment and another is its
     IP address. However, firewalls may connect different networks of
     other types, such as ATM or Netware segments.

   See also:
     homed

3.31 Unit of transfer

   Definition:
     A discrete collection of bytes comprising at least one header and
     optional user data.

   Discussion:
     This metric is intended for use in describing steady-state
     forwarding rate of the DUT/SUT.

     The unit of transfer (UOT) definition is deliberately left open to
     interpretation, allowing the broadest possible application.
     Examples of UOTs include TCP segments, IP packets, Ethernet frames,
     and ATM cells.

     While the definition is deliberately broad, its interpretation must
     not be. The tester must describe what type of UOT will be offered
     to the DUT/SUT, and must offer these UOTs at a consistent rate.
     Traffic measurement must begin after all connection establishment
     routines complete and before any connection completion routine
     begins.  Further, measurements must begin after any security
     associations (SAs) are established and before any SA is revoked.



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     Testers also must compare only like UOTs. It is not appropriate,
     for example, to compare forwarding rates by offering 1,500-byte
     Ethernet UOTs to one DUT/SUT and 53-byte ATM cells to another.

   Unit of measurement:
     Units of transfer
     Units of transfer per second

   Issues:

   See also:
     bit forwarding rate
     connection

3.32 Unprotected network

   Definition:
     A network segment or segments to which access is not controlled by
     the DUT/SUT.

   Discussion:
     Firewalls are deployed between protected and unprotected segments.
     The unprotected network is not protected by the DUT/SUT.

     Note that a DUT/SUT's policy may specify hosts on an unprotected
     network. For example, a user on a protected network may be
     permitted to access an FTP server on an unprotected network. But
     the DUT/SUT cannot control access between hosts on the unprotected
     network.

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     demilitarized zone (DMZ)
     policy
     protected network
     rule set

3.33 User

   Definition:
     A person or process requesting access to resources protected by the
     DUT/SUT.





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   Discussion:
     "User" is a problematic term in the context of firewall performance
     testing, for several reasons. First, a user may in fact be a
     process or processes requesting services through the DUT/SUT.
     Second, different "user" requests may require radically different
     amounts of DUT/SUT resources. Third, traffic profiles vary widely
     from one organization to another, making it difficult to
     characterize the load offered by a typical user.

     For these reasons, testers should not attempt to measure DUT/SUT
     performance in terms of users supported. Instead, testers should
     describe performance in terms of maximum bit forwarding rate and
     maximum number of connections sustained. Further, testers should
     use the term "data source" rather than user to describe traffic
     generator(s).

   Unit of measurement:
     not applicable

   Issues:

   See also:
     data source

4. Security Considerations

   The primary goal of this memo is to describe terms used in
   benchmarking firewall performance. However, readers should be aware
   that there is some overlap between performance and security issues.
   Specifically, the optimal configuration for firewall performance may
   not be the most secure, and vice-versa.

   Further, certain forms of attack may degrade performance. One common
   form of denial-of-service (DoS) attack bombards a firewall with so
   much rejected traffic that it cannot forward allowed traffic. DoS
   attacks do not always involve heavy loads; by definition, DoS
   describes any state in which a firewall is offered rejected traffic
   that prohibits it from forwarding some or all allowed traffic. Even a
   small amount of traffic may significantly degrade firewall
   performance, or stop the firewall altogether. Further, the safeguards
   in firewalls to guard against such attacks may have a significant
   negative impact on performance.

   Since the library of attacks is constantly expanding, no attempt is
   made here to define specific attacks that may affect performance.
   Nonetheless, any reasonable performance benchmark should take into





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   consideration safeguards against such attacks. Specifically, the same
   safeguards should be in place when comparing performance of different
   firewall implementations.

5. References

   Bradner, S., Ed., "Benchmarking Terminology for Network
           Interconnection Devices", RFC 1242, July 1991.

   Bradner, S. and J. McQuaid, "Benchmarking Methodology for Network
           Interconnect Devices", RFC 2544, March 1999.

   Mandeville, R., "Benchmarking Terminology for LAN Switching Devices",
           RFC 2285, February 1998.

   Rekhter, Y., Moskowitz, B., Karrenberg, D., de Groot, G. and E. Lear,
           "Address Allocation for Private Internets", BCP 5, RFC 1918,
           February 1996.

6. Acknowledgments

   The author wishes to thank the IETF Benchmarking Working Group for
   agreeing to review this document. Several other persons offered
   valuable contributions and critiques during this project: Ted Doty
   (Internet Security Systems), Kevin Dubray (Ironbridge Networks),
   Helen Holzbaur, Dale Lancaster, Robert Mandeville, Brent Melson
   (NSTL), Steve Platt (NSTL), Marcus Ranum (Network Flight Recorder),
   Greg Shannon, Christoph Schuba (Sun Microsystems), Rick Siebenaler,
   and Greg Smith (Check Point Software Technologies).

7. Contact Information

   David Newman
   Data Communications magazine
   3 Park Ave.
   31st Floor
   New York, NY 10016
   USA

   Phone: 212-592-8256
   Fax:   212-592-8265
   EMail: dnewman@data.com









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8.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
   English.

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
   BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
   MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Acknowledgement

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.



















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