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   Network Working Group                           Jerry Perser
   INTERNET-DRAFT                                  Spirent
   Expires in: December 2001                       David Newman
                                                   Network Test
                                                   Sumit Khurana
                                                   Shobha Erramilli
                                                   Scott Poretsky
                                                   Avici Systems
                                                   June 2001

                Terminology for Benchmarking Network-layer
                         Traffic Control Mechanisms


   Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force  (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents
   at any time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts as
   reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   Table of Contents

     1. Introduction ............................................... 2
     2. Existing definitions ....................................... 3
     3. Term definitions.............................................3
       3.1 Channel Capacity..........................................3
       3.2 Classification............................................4
       3.3 Codepoint Set.............................................4
       3.4 Conforming................................................5
       3.5 Congestion................................................5
       3.6 Congestion Management.....................................6
       3.7 Delay.....................................................7
       3.8 Expected Vector...........................................7

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       3.9 Flow......................................................8
       3.10 Forwarding Vector .......................................9
       3.11 Jitter...................................................9
       3.12 Nonconforming...........................................10
       3.13 Offered Vector..........................................11
       3.14 Stream..................................................11
       3.15 Tail dropping...........................................12
       3.16 Test Sequence number....................................12
       3.17 Unburdened Response.....................................13
     4. Security Considerations.....................................13
     5. References..................................................14
     6. Author's Address............................................14
     7. Full Copyright Statement....................................15

   1. Introduction

   Driven by Internet economics, service providers and enterprises
   alike have shown strong interest in adding traffic-control
   capabilities to network devices. These capabilities would enable
   network operators to define and deliver minimum or maximum levels of
   bandwidth, delay, and jitter for multiple classes of traffic.
   Perhaps more importantly, network operators would be able to set
   pricing according to the level of service delivered.

   Networking device manufacturers have responded with a wide variety
   of approaches for controlling network traffic.  While there are
   numerous ôpolicy managementö and ôquality of serviceö frameworks,
   many of them rely on one of two network-layer mechanisms for the
   actual control of forwarding rate, delay, and jitter. These two
   mechanisms are the IP precedence setting in the IP header and the
   diff-serv code point (DSCP) defined in [3].

   This document describes the various terms to be used in benchmarking
   devices that implement traffic control based on IP precedence or
   DSCP criteria. This document is narrowly focused, in that it
   describes only terms for measuring behavior of a device or a group
   of devices using one of these two mechanisms. End-to-end and
   service-level measurements are beyond the scope of this document.

   This document introduces several new terms that will allow
   measurements to be taken during periods of congestion. New
   terminology is needed because most existing benchmarking terms
   assume the absence of congestion. For example, throughput is one of
   the most widely used measurements û- yet RFC 1242 defines throughput
   as a rate in the absence of loss. As a result, throughput is not a
   meaningful measurement where congestion exists.

   Another key difference from existing benchmarking terminology is the
   definition of measurements as observed on egress as well as ingress
   of a device/system under test. Again, the existence of congestion
   requires the addition of egress measurements as well as those taken

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   on ingress; without observing traffic leaving a device it is not
   possible to say whether traffic-control mechanisms effectively dealt
   with congestion.

   The principal measurements introduced in this document are rate
   vectors, delay, and jitter, all of which can be observed with or
   without congestion of the DUT/SUT.

   2.  Existing definitions

   RFC 1242 "Benchmarking Terminology for Network Interconnect Devices"
   and RFC 2285 "Benchmarking Terminology for LAN Switching Devices"
   should be consulted before attempting to make use of this document.

   RFC 2474 "Definition of the Differentiated Services Field (DS Field)
   in the IPv4 and IPv6 Headers" section 2, contains discussions of a
   number of terms relevant to network-layer traffic control mechanisms
   and should also be consulted.

   For the sake of clarity and continuity this RFC adopts the template
   for definitions set out in Section 2 of RFC 1242.  Definitions are
   indexed and grouped together in sections for ease of reference.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

   3. Term definitions

   3.1 Channel Capacity

        The maximum forwarding rate of a link or set of aggregated
        links at which none of the offered packets are dropped by the

        Channel capacity measures the data rate at the egress
        interface(s) of the DUT/SUT. In contrast, throughput as defined
        in RFC 1242 measures the data rate is based on the ingress
        interface(s) of the DUT/SUT.

        Ingress-based measurements do not account for congestion of the
        DUT/SUT. Channel capacity, as an egress measurement, does take
        congestion into account.

        Understanding channel capacity is a necessary precursor to any
        measurement involving congestion.  Throughput numbers can be
        higher than channel capacity because of queueing.

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      Measurement units:

         N-octet packets per second


      See Also:
        Throughput [1]

   3.2 Classification

        Selection of packets based on the contents of packet header
        according to defined rules.

        Packets can be selected based on the DS field or IP Precedence
        in the packet header.  Classification can also be based on
        Multi-Field (MF) criteria such as IP Source and destination
        addresses, protocol and port number.

        Classification determines the per-hop behaviors and traffic
        conditioning functions such as shaping and dropping that are to
        be applied to the packet.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:

   3.3 Codepoint Set

        The set of all DS Code-points or IP precedence values used
        during the test duration.

        Describes all the code-point markings associated with packets
        that are input to the DUT/SUT.  For each entry in the codepoint
        set, there are associated vectors describing the rate of
        traffic containing that particular DSCP or IP precedence value.

        The treatment that a packet belonging to a particular code-
        point gets is subject to the DUT classifying packets to map to

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        the correct PHB. Moreover, the forwarding treatment in general
        is also dependent on the complete set of offered vectors.

   Measurement Units:

   See Also:

   3.4 Conforming

        Packets that lie within the bounds specified by a traffic

        Rules may be configured that allow a given traffic class to
        consume only X bit/s of channel capacity and no more.  All
        additional packets are dropped.  All packets that constitute
        the first X bits/s measured over a period of time specified by
        the traffic profile, are then said to be conforming whereas
        those exceeding the bound are non conforming.

        In particular in a congestion scenario, some individual packets
        will be conforming and others will not.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:
        Expected Vector
        Forwarding Vector
        Offered Vector

   3.5 Congestion

        A condition in which one or more egress interfaces are offered
        more packets than can be forwarded at any given instant.

        This condition is a superset of the overload definition [2].
        That definition assumes the overload is introduced strictly by
        the tester on ingress of a DUT/SUT. That may or may not be the
        case here.

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        Another difference is that with multiple-DUT measurements,
        congestion may occur at multiple points. For example, multiple
        edge devices collectively may congest a core device. In
        contrast, overload [1] deals only with overload on ingress.

        Ingress observations alone are not sufficient to cover all
        cases in which congestion may occur. A device with an infinite
        amount of memory could buffer an infinite amount of packets,
        and eventually forward all of them. However, these packets may
        or may not be forwarded during the test duration. Even though
        ingress interfaces accept all packets without loss, this
        hypothetical device may still be congested.

        The definition presented here explicitly defines congestion as
        an event observable on egress interfaces. Regardless of
        internal architecture, any device that cannot forward packets
        on one or more egress interfaces is congested.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:

   3.6 Congestion Management

        An implementation of one or more per-hop-behaviors to avoid or
        minimize the condition of congestion.

        Congestion management may seek either to control congestion or
        avoid it altogether. Such mechanisms classify packets based
        upon IP Precedence or DSCP settings in a packetÆs IP header.

        Congestion avoidance mechanisms seek to prevent congestion
        before it actually occurs.

        Congestion control mechanisms gives one or more service classes
        preferential treatment over other classes during periods of

      Measurement units:



      See Also:

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   3.7 Delay

        The time interval starting when the last bit of the input IP
        packets reaches the input port of the DUT/SUT and ending when
        the last bit of the output IP packets is seen on the output
        port of the DUT/SUT.

        Delay is measured the same regardless of the type of DUT/SUT.
        Latency [1] require some knowledge of whether the DUT/SUT is a
        "store and forward" or a "bit forwarding" device.  The fact
        that a DUT/SUT's technology has a lower delay than another
        technology should be visible.

        The measurement point at the end is more like the way an
        internet datagram is processed.  An internet datagram is not
        passed up or down the stack unless it is complete.  Completion
        occurs once the last bit of the IP packet has been received.

        Delay can be run at any offered load.  Recommend at or below
        the channel capacity for non-congested delay.  For congested
        delay, run the offered load above the channel capacity.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:

   3.8 Expected Vector

        A vector describing the expected output rate of packets having
        a specific code-point. The value is dependent on the set of
        offered vectors and configuration of the DUT.

        The DUT is configured in a certain way in order that service
        discrimination happens for behavior aggregates when a specific
        traffic mix consisting of multiple behavior aggregates is
        applied. This term attempts to capture the expected behavior,
        for which the device is configured, when subjected to a certain
        offered load.

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        The actual algorithms or mechanism, that the DUT uses to
        achieve service discrimination, is not important in describing
        the expected vector.

      Measurement units:
        N-octets packets per second

      See Also:
        Forwarding Vector
        Offered Vector
        Codepoint Set

   3.9 Flow

        A flow is a one or more of packets sharing a common intended
        pair of source and destination interfaces.

        Packets are groups by the ingress and egress interfaces they
        use on a given DUT/SUT.

        A flow can contain multiple source IP addresses and/or
        destination IP addresses.  All packets in a flow must enter on
        the same ingress interface and exit on the same egress
        interface, and have some common network layer content.

        Microflows [3] are a subset of flows.  As defined in [3],
        microflows require application-to-application measurement. In
        contrast, flows use lower-layer classification criteria. Since
        this document focuses on network-layer classification criteria,
        we concentrate here on the use of network-layer identifiers in
        describing a flow. Flow identifiers also may reside at the
        data-link, transport, or application layers of the ISO model.
        However, identifiers other than those at the network layer are
        out of scope for this document.

        A flow may contain a single code point/IP precedence value or
        may contain multiple values destined for a single egress
        interface.  This is determined by the test methodology.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:
        Microflow [3]

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   3.10 Forwarding Vector

        The number of packets per second for all packets containing a
        single DSCP (or IP precedence) that a device can be observed to
        successfully transmit to the correct destination interface in
        response to an offered vector.

        Forwarding Vector is expressed as pair of numbers.  Both the
        codepoint (or IP precedence) value AND the packets per second
        value combine to make a vector.

        The forwarding vector represents packet rate based on their
        codepoint or IP precedence value.  It is not necessary based on
        stream or flow.  The forwarding vector may be expresses as ôper
        portö or ôof the DUT/SUTö.

        Forwarding Vector is a per-hop measurement.  The DUT/SUT may
        change the codepoint or IP precedence value for a multiple-hop

      Measurement units:

        N-octet packets per second


      See Also:
        Codepoint Set
        Expected Vector
        Offered Vector.

   3.11 Jitter

        Variation in a stream's delay.

        Jitter is the absolute value of the difference between the
        delay measurement of two packets belonging to the same stream.

        The jitter between two consecutive packets in a stream is
        reported as the "instantaneous jitter". Instantaneous jitter
        can be expressed as |D(i) û D(i+1)| where D equals the delay
        and i is the test sequence number.  Packets lost are not
        counted in the jitter measurement.

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        Average Jitter is the average of the instantaneous jitter
        measured during the test duration.

        Peak-to-peak jitter is the maximum delay minus the minimum
        delay of the packets forwarded by the DUT/SUT.

      Measurement units:

        Seconds (instantaneous)
        Seconds P-P (peak to peak)
        Seconds avg (average)

        Standard Deviation
        90th percentile
        Inter Quartile Range

      See Also:

   3.12 Nonconforming

        Packets that lie outside the parameter bounds of a given
        traffic profile.

        Rules may be configured for a given traffic class based on
        parameters, such as an upper bound on the rate of packet
        arrivals. All packets that lie outside the bounds specified by
        the traffic profile, measured over a period of time specified
        in the traffic profile, are said to be nonconforming.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:

   3.13 Offered Vector


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        A vector describing the rate at which packets having a specific
        code-point are offered to the DUT/SUT.

        Offered loads across the different code-point classes,
        constituting a code-point set, determine the metrics associated
        with a specific code-point traffic class.

      Measurement Units:
        N-octets packets per second

        Packet size.

      See Also:
        Expected Vector
        Forwarding Vector
        Codepoint Set

   3.14 Stream

        A group of packets tracked as a single entity by the traffic
        receiver.  A stream shares a common content such as type (IP,
        UDP), frame size, or payload.

        Streams are tracked by "sequence number" or "unique signature
        field" (RFC 2889).  Streams define how individual packet's
        statistics are grouped together to form an intelligible

        Common stream groupings would be by egress interface,
        destination address, source address, DSCP, or IP precedence.  A
        stream using sequence numbers can track the ordering of packets
        as they transverse the DUT/SUT.

        Streams are not restricted to a pair of source and destination
        interfaces as long as all packets are tracked as a single
        entity.  A mulitcast stream can be forward to multiple
        destination interfaces.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:
        MicroFlow [3]

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        Test sequence number

   3.15 Tail dropping

        The condition in which a congested DUT/SUT discards newly
        arriving packets.

        Every DUT/SUT has a finite amount of traffic it can forward,
        beyond which congestion occurs. Once the offered load crosses
        the congestion threshold, the device may discard any additional
        traffic that arrives until congestion clears.

        Tail dropping is typically a function of offered load exceeding
        a DUT/SUTÆs buffer capacity, but other factors internal to the
        DUT/SUT may also come into play. In terms of what is externally
        observable, tail dropping can be said to occur only when
        offered load exceeds channel capacity. Since a DUT/SUT may
        buffer traffic on ingress, the actual threshold for tail
        dropping may be higher than channel capacity.

      Measurement units:


        Some congestion management mechanisms seek to avoid tail
        dropping by discarding packets before offered load exceeds
        channel capacity. In the presence of such mechanisms, neither
        congestion nor tail dropping should occur.

      See Also:
        Channel capacity

   3.16 Test Sequence number

        A field in the IP payload portion of the packet that is used to
        verify the order of the packets on the egress of the DUT/SUT.

        The traffic generator sets the sequence number value and the
        traffic receiver checks the value upon receipt of the packet.
        The traffic generator changes the value on each packet
        transmitted based on an algorithm agreed to by the traffic

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        The traffic receiver keeps track of the sequence numbers on a
        per stream basis.  In addition to number of received packets,
        the traffic receiver may also report number of in-sequence
        packets, number of out-sequence packets and number of duplicate

        The recommended algorithm to use to change the sequence number
        on sequential packets is an incrementing value.

      Measurement units:



      See Also:

   3.17 Unburdened Response

        A performance measure obtained when mechanisms used to support
        IP precedence and DiffServ are disabled.

        Enabling Diffserv mechanisms such as scheduling algorithms may
        impose an additional processing overhead for packets, which may
        cause the aggregate response to suffer even when traffic
        belonging to only one class, the best effort class, is offered
        to the device. Comparisons with "unburdened performance" may
        thus be in order when obtaining metrics to ensure that enabling
        Diffserv mechanisms doesn't impose an excessive performance

      Measurement units:


   4. Security Considerations

        Documents of this type do not directly effect the security of
        the Internet or of corporate networks as long as benchmarking
        is not performed on devices or systems connected to operating

   5. References

      [1]   Bradner, S., Editor, "Benchmarking Terminology for Network

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            Interconnection Devices", RFC 1242, July 1991.

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

      [3]   K. Nichols, S. Blake, F. Baker, D. Black,"Definition of the
            Differentiated Services Field (DS Field) in the IPv4 and
            IPv6 Headers", RFC 2474, December 1998.

      [4]   S. Blake, D. Black, M. Carlson, E. Davies, Z. Wang, W.
            Weiss, "An Architecture for Differentiated Services", RFC
            2475, December 1998.

   6. Author's Address

        Jerry Perser
        Spirent Communications
        26750 Agoura Road
        Calabasas, CA 91302

        Phone: + 1 818 676 2300
        EMail: jerry.perser@spirentcom.com

        David Newman
        Network Test
        31324 Via Colinas, Suite 113
        Westlake Village, CA 91362

        Phone: + 1 818 889 0011, x10
        EMail: dnewman@networktest.com

        Sumit Khurana
        Telcordia Technologies
        445 South Street
        Morristown, NJ 07960

        Phone: + 1 973 829 3170
        EMail: sumit@research.telcordia.com

        Shobha Erramilli
        Telcordia Technologies
        331 Newman Springs Road,
        Navesink, NJ 07701

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        Phone: + 1 732 758 5508
        EMail: shobha@research.telcordia.com

        Scott Poretsky
        Avici Systems
        101 Billerica AveùBuilding #6
        N. Billerica, MA 01862

        Phone: + 1 978 964 2287
        EMail: sporetsky@avici.com

   7.  Full Copyright Statement

        Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights

        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

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