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RFC 323 - Formation of Network Measurement Group (NMG)

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Network Working Group                                          Vint Cerf
Request for Comments: 323                                       UCLA-NMC
NIC: 9630                                                 March 23, 1972

              Formation of Network Measurement Group (NMG)

   On March 17, 1972, at MIT project MAC, the following group met to
   discuss plans to perform measurement experiments on the ARPANET:

                    A. Bhushan     - MIT/DMCG

                    V. Cerf        - UCLA/NMC, Chairman, NMG

                    S. Crocker     - ARPA/IPT

                    J. Forgie      - LL/TX-2

                    R. Metcalfe    - MIT/HARV/DMCG

                    M. Padlipsky   - MIT/MULTICS

                    J. Postel      - UCLA/NMC

                    J. Winett      - LL/67

   The purpose of the meeting was to discuss existing and planned
   measurements of network and HOST behavior.

1.  Measurement Link #'s

   It was agreed (after a ridiculously long discussion) to allocate
   links 159-191 for network measurement only (see RFC #317).  It was
   further agreed that these links would be allocated in the following

         159-174  HOST DISCARD; co-operating HOSTS receiving messages on
                  these links will throw them away without generating an
                  error message.

         175-190  To be allocated as needed by V. Cerf - UCLA/NMC.

         191      To be used by IMPs to send measurement traffic
                  obtained from IMP statistics packages.

   It should be apparent that HOSTs wishing to co-operate in the support
   of a HOST discard service should modify their NCP's to throw away all
   messages received on links 159-174 without sending an error back to
   the source HOST (no connection will be open on these links).

2.  Process Discard

   Although it was not mentioned at the meeting, C. Kline at UCLA has
   suggested a PROCESS DISCARD also with some well known socket number.
   The purpose of this discard routine would be to help us study
   Process-Process behavior of the network.

   It would be convenient if all co-operating HOSTs could write a
   Process Discard program which would simply wait for ICP on some
   standard socket number.  Until a complete survey is made of well-
   known socket numbers at each HOST, no socket number will be proposed
   (see RFC #322).

3.  NCP Statistics

   At the meeting it was apparent that several sites have already
   instrumented their NCP's out of curiosity.  In particular, Joel
   Winett, Lincoln Labs (360/67), has instrumented all connections
   originated by local TELNET users.  He gathers statistics per
   connection such as:

         a) Network connect time

         b) NCP CPU time

         c) Number of reads or writes on connection

         d) Time stamps on:

               first RFC, last RFC, first close, last close.

         e) Number of messages and bits transmitted

         f) Log of errors sent or received

   MULTICS gathers summary statistics on the number of regular (type 0)
   messages sent and received, and the number of irregular messages (not
   type 0) sent or received.

   The NWG agreed to implement a minimal NCP instrumentation procedure
   which would gather by HOST for some standard 24 hour period (e.g.
   local midnight to local midnight) the following:

         a. Total bits sent to HOST

         b. Total bits received from HOST

         c. Total messages sent to HOST

         d. Total messages received from HOST and optionally

         e. Average Round Trip delay on send connections to HOST

   The information above should be collected only for standard open
   connections (i.e. those using standard NCP protocol) and not
   Measurement links or experimental NCP links, and in particular, not
   traffic on link 0).

   Another optional measurement would be to gather the distribution of
   message types over link 0 over all HOSTS (i.e. not broken down by
   HOST).  This will reveal the relative utilization of control messages
   (ALLOC should be very prevalent).

   The data collected for the last 24 hour sample period should be
   available from a process whose well-known (to be specified) socket
   number will support ICP and will produce a message in the following

                   16         16
word 0         |  Day #   |  Time      |
                  |            |
 1 - 365 (6 on leap year)      |______
                                Time in minutes at which sample was
                                started.  Ranges from 0 (midnight) to 1439.

                8      8
word 1      | Source | Byte |   N   |  Format  |
            |   Host | Size |       |          |
                |       |       |       |_____________
     ___________|       |       |                     |
    |                   |       |                     |
Network                 |       |        +-----+-----+--+--+--+--+
Host number             |       |        |     |     |C |R |B |M |
                        |       |        +-----+-----+--+--+--+--+
                        |       |                     |  |  |  |
                        |       |                     |  |  | message
                        |    number of HOST           |  |  | statistics
                        |    related entries          |  |  |
                        |    in message               |  |  |__byte
                        |                             |  |  statistics
                        |                             |  |
            number of bits per                        |  |__average
            byte in byte statistics                   |  round-trip
                                                      |  time

   The remaining words of the message depend on Format byte setting:

                |   Foreign HOST #    |      always present
              / +---------------------+
              | |  messages received  |      if FORMAT bit M set
              | +---------------------+
              | |    Bytes received   |      if FORMAT bit B set
   N of these | +---------------------+
   entries    | |     message sent    |      if FORMAT bit M set
              | +---------------------+
              | |      Bytes sent     |      if FORMAT bit B set
              | +---------------------+
              \ |   Average delay     |      if FORMAT bit R set
                                             This is average RFNM
                                             delay in milliseconds

             8         24
          |  type |     Count     |     if FORMAT bit C set these
          +-------+---------------+     are link 0 control message
          |       |               |     distributions for the
          +-------+---------------+     sample period, cumulative
          |       |               |     over all HOSTs.  If a type is
          +-------+---------------+     not present, its count is
          |       |               |     assumed to be 0.
          |       |               |
          |       |               |
          |     . |       .       |
                .         .
                .         .
          |type   |    Count      |

   The process sending these statistics will continue to send data until
   it has transmitted the entire statistics sample at which time it will
   close both connections.  The process which requested the initial
   connection is expected to continue to allocate space as it is
   available until it receives a close request on the open connections.
   It then responds with matching closes.  The sending process should
   not close until it has received a RFNM for the last message it wishes

   to send.

4.  Process level measurements

   R Metcalfe MIT/DMCG suggested that the NWG consider trying to gather
   the following data about network connections:

         1. Capacity in bits/sec

         2. Transmission delay

         3. Mean Time Between Failures

         4. Percent availability

   These statistics characterize connections as communication
   commodities and would be the kind of information one would want if
   Network connections were for sale as "off-the-shelf" items.  The
   first two measures are fairly easy to obtain (although they may vary
   from connection to connection).  The last two are harder to get at
   and will require some planning to measure.

5 HOST surveys

   Several HOSTS have built or are building automatic survey programs
   which periodically test and record the status of various HOSTs.  BB&N
   (Ellen Westheimer) has been doing this manually on a daily basis.

   MIT/DMCG has a program developed by R. Metcalfe and M. Seriff which
   gathers these statistics every 15 minutes and stores the data away in
   messaged form.  The data can be retrieved through the NETWORK program
   at DMCG.  A summary can be obtained, by HOST, declaring the % time VP
   overall samples and the message response to perform ICP in seconds.
   This program also keeps the state of the HOSTs according to the
   following measures:

   code  meaning
   ----  -------
   0     HOST not surveyed
   1     HOST Dead (according to IMP)
   2     NCP not responding to RESET request (15 second time-out)
   3     NCP rejecting (ICP got close response).
   4     Logger not responding (20 second time-out after ICP request).
   5     Logger available (i.e. ICP successful followed by Close request
         by DMCG).

   Details and sample data are available in an RFC produced by M. Seriff
   (RFC #308, NIC #9259).  At UCLA, M. Kampe is implementing a similar


   J. Postel and V. Cerf plotted Ellen Westheimer's data for HOSTS OPEN
   (regarding HOST advertising of service of hours) and found the
   resulting plot rather interesting.  The result is reproduced in the
   figure below.  On a moving average, the number of HOSTS OPEN seems to
   be increasing, which is a good sign.

   [Here was a figure]

5.  File Transmission Statistics

   At MIT/DMCG, H. Brodie has measured transmission delay and total
   throughput as a function of file size for transmissions to and from
   UCSB's Simple Minded File System.  The NWG is interested in
   specifying certain measurements which should become a standard part
   of any File transmission protocol implementation.  In particular,
   distributions of file sizes, transmission delay and perhaps
   destination would be of interest.  Throughput measurements could also
   be used to correlate with Metcalfe's suggested connection

6.  Artificial traffic generator

   UCLA and Lincoln Labs have experimented with artificial traffic
   generators as a means of testing network capacity.  At Lincoln Labs,
   J. Forgie used the 360/67 to generate traffic from a normal user
   process.  Depending on system load, he was able to maintain traffic
   rates ranging from 4800 bps to 38K bps.  UCLA has had a generator for
   about a year and has managed to obtain transmission rates around 75K
   bps using multiple links for parallel transmission.

   The NWG is interested in having such artificial traffic generators
   available at several HOSTs as a means of artificially loading the
   network.  Ideally, generators could be started by a TELNET-like
   protocol and would permit specification of

         a) Link #'s to send on

         b) Destination: HOST's or IMP's discard

         c) Inter-arrival time distribution for messages sent on each
            link (i.e. possibly different distribution for each link).
            Or at least average IAT for assumed exponential
            distribution.  An average IAT of 0 would imply RFNM driven

         d) Message length distribution, or average, or fixed length for

            each link.

   It would also be helpful to accumulate average round-trip times and
   total bits sent for the duration of the experiment.

   At UCLA, the traffic generator permits the following specifications:

         a) message header (includes link #)

         b) message length (for each link) - distribution (can be
            constant for each link)

         c) message inter-arrival time - distribution for each link

         d) Duration of generation in seconds

   We can also send imperative commands to the program to stop message
   generation prematurely.  Throughput and average response times (Round
   Trip delays) are automatically accumulated for each link and are
   published at the end of the experiment.

   A more sophisticated version will also permit specification of ICP
   socket number for the Process Discard experiments.  The idea is to
   have a number of artificial traffic generators available at different
   sites and to be able to start these up remotely from UCLA/NMC during
   the course of a measurement experiment.  More details of the desired
   generator will be published in another RFC.

7.  Measurements at other sites

   People at sites not mentioned may have done some measurement work and
   the NWG encourages these people to publish their results.  If anyone
   is interested in co-operating with the NWG in making NCP measurements
   (or what-have-you), please get in touch with

            Vint Cerf
            UCLA-NMC Computer Science Department
            3804 Boelter Hall
            Los Angeles, California 90024

            (213) 825-4864
            (213) 825-2368

        [This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry]
    [into the online RFC archives by Hélène Morin, Viagénie, 12/99]


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