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RFC 4883 - Benchmarking Terminology for Resource Reservation Cap


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Network Working Group                                           G. Feher
Request for Comments: 4883                                     K. Nemeth
Category: Informational                                          A. Korn
                                                                    BUTE
                                                             I. Cselenyi
                                                             TeliaSonera
                                                               July 2007

   Benchmarking Terminology for Resource Reservation Capable Routers

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 IETF Trust (2007).

Abstract

   The primary purpose of this document is to define terminology
   specific to the benchmarking of resource reservation signaling of
   Integrated Services (IntServ) IP routers.  These terms can be used in
   additional documents that define benchmarking methodologies for
   routers that support resource reservation or reporting formats for
   the benchmarking measurements.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Existing Definitions ............................................3
   3. Definition of Terms .............................................4
      3.1. Traffic Flow Types .........................................4
           3.1.1. Data Flow ...........................................4
           3.1.2. Distinguished Data Flow .............................4
           3.1.3. Best-Effort Data Flow ...............................5
      3.2. Resource Reservation Protocol Basics .......................5
           3.2.1. QoS Session .........................................5
           3.2.2. Resource Reservation Protocol .......................6
           3.2.3. Resource Reservation Capable Router .................7
           3.2.4. Reservation State ...................................7
           3.2.5. Resource Reservation Protocol Orientation ...........8
      3.3. Router Load Factors ........................................9
           3.3.1. Best-Effort Traffic Load Factor .....................9
           3.3.2. Distinguished Traffic Load Factor ..................10
           3.3.3. Session Load Factor ................................11
           3.3.4. Signaling Intensity Load Factor ....................11
           3.3.5. Signaling Burst Load Factor ........................12
      3.4. Performance Metrics .......................................13
           3.4.1. Signaling Message Handling Time ....................13
           3.4.2. Distinguished Traffic Delay ........................14
           3.4.3. Best-effort Traffic Delay ..........................15
           3.4.4. Signaling Message Deficit ..........................15
           3.4.5. Session Maintenance Capacity .......................16
      3.5. Router Load Conditions and Scalability Limit ..............17
           3.5.1. Loss-Free Condition ................................17
           3.5.2. Lossy Condition ....................................18
           3.5.3. QoS Compliant Condition ............................19
           3.5.4. Not QoS Compliant Condition ........................20
           3.5.5. Scalability Limit ..................................20
   4. Security Considerations ........................................21
   5. Acknowledgements ...............................................21
   6. References .....................................................21
      6.1. Normative References ......................................21
      6.2. Informative References ....................................21

1.  Introduction

   Signaling-based resource reservation using the IntServ paradigm [4]
   is an important part of the different Quality of Service (QoS)
   provisioning approaches.  Therefore, network operators who are
   planning to deploy signaling-based resource reservation may want to
   examine the scalability limitations of reservation capable routers
   and the impact of signaling on their data forwarding performance.

   An objective way of quantifying the scalability constraints of QoS
   signaling is to perform measurements on routers that are capable of
   IntServ-based resource reservation.  This document defines
   terminology for a specific set of tests that vendors or network
   operators can carry out to measure and report the signaling
   performance characteristics of router devices that support resource
   reservation protocols.  The results of these tests provide comparable
   data for different products, and thus support the decision-making
   process before purchase.  Moreover, these measurements provide input
   characteristics for the dimensioning of a network in which resources
   are provisioned dynamically by signaling.  Finally, the tests are
   applicable for characterizing the impact of the resource reservation
   signaling on the forwarding performance of the routers.

   This benchmarking terminology document is based on the knowledge
   gained by examination of (and experimentation with) different
   resource reservation protocols: the IETF standard Resource
   ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) [5], Next Steps in Signaling (NSIS)
   [6][7][8][9], and several experimental ones, such as YESSIR (Yet
   Another Sender Session Internet Reservation) [10], ST2+ [11], Session
   Description Protocol (SDP) [12], Boomerang [13], and Ticket [14].
   Some of these protocols were also analyzed by the IETF NSIS working
   group [15].  Although at the moment the authors are only aware of
   resource reservation capable router products that interpret RSVP,
   this document defines terms that are valid in general and not
   restricted to any of the protocols listed above.

   In order to avoid any confusion, we would like to emphasize that this
   terminology considers only signaling protocols that provide IntServ
   resource reservation; for example, techniques in the DiffServ toolbox
   are predominantly beyond our scope.

2.  Existing Definitions

   RFC 1242 "Benchmarking Terminology for Network Interconnection
   Devices" [1] and RFC 2285 "Benchmarking Terminology for LAN Switching
   Devices" [3] contain discussions and definitions for a number of
   terms relevant to the benchmarking of signaling performance of
   reservation-capable routers and should be consulted before attempting
   to make use of this document.

   Additionally, this document defines terminology in a way that is
   consistent with the terms used by the Next Steps in Signaling working
   group laid out in [6][7][8].

   For the sake of clarity and continuity, this document adopts the
   template for definitions set out in Section 2 of RFC 1242.

   Definitions are indexed and grouped together into different sections
   for ease of reference.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED",  "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [2].

3.  Definition of Terms

3.1.  Traffic Flow Types

   This group of definitions describes traffic flow types forwarded by
   resource reservation capable routers.

3.1.1.  Data Flow

   Definition:
      A data flow is a stream of data packets from one sender to one or
      more receivers, where each packet has a flow identifier unique to
      the flow.

   Discussion:
      The flow identifier can be an arbitrary subset of the packet
      header fields that uniquely distinguishes the flow from others.
      For example, the 5-tuple "source address; source port; destination
      address; destination port; protocol number" is commonly used for
      this purpose (where port numbers are applicable).  It is also
      possible to take advantage of the Flow Label field of IPv6
      packets.  For more comments on flow identification, refer to [6].

3.1.2.  Distinguished Data Flow

   Definition:
      Distinguished data flows are flows that resource reservation
      capable routers intentionally treat better or worse than best-
      effort data flows, according to a QoS agreement defined for the
      distinguished flow.

   Discussion:
      Routers classify the packets of distinguished data flows and
      identify the data flow to which they belong.

      The most common usage of the distinguished data flow is to get
      higher-priority treatment than that of best-effort data flows (see
      the next definition).  In these cases, a distinguished data flow
      is sometimes referred to as a "premium data flow".  Nevertheless,
      theoretically it is possible to require worse treatment than that
      of best-effort flows.

3.1.3.  Best-Effort Data Flow

   Definition:
      Best-effort data flows are flows that are not treated in any
      special manner by resource reservation capable routers; thus,
      their packets are served (forwarded) in some default way.

   Discussion:
      "Best-effort" means that the router makes its best effort to
      forward the data packet quickly and safely, but does not guarantee
      anything (e.g., delay or loss probability).  This type of traffic
      is the most common in today's Internet.

      Packets that belong to best-effort data flows need not be
      classified by the routers; that is, the routers don't need to find
      a related reservation session in order to find out to which
      treatment the packet is entitled.

3.2.  Resource Reservation Protocol Basics

   This group of definitions applies to signaling-based resource
   reservation protocols implemented by IP router devices.

3.2.1.  QoS Session

   Definition:
      A QoS session is an application layer concept, shared between a
      set of network nodes, that pertains to a specific set of data
      flows.  The information associated with the session includes the
      data required to identify the set of data flows in addition to a
      specification of the QoS treatment they require.

   Discussion:
      A QoS session is an end-to-end relationship.  Whenever end-nodes
      decide to obtain special QoS treatment for their data
      communication, they set up a QoS session.  As part of the process,
      they or their proxies make a QoS agreement with the network,
      specifying their data flows and the QoS treatment that the flows
      require.

      It is possible for the same QoS session to span multiple network
      domains that have different resource provisioning architectures.
      In this document, however, we only deal with the case where the
      QoS session is realized over an IntServ architecture.  It is
      assumed that sessions will be established using signaling messages
      of a resource reservation protocol.

      QoS sessions must have unique identifiers; it must be possible to
      determine to which QoS session a given signaling message pertains.
      Therefore, each signaling message should include the identifier of
      its corresponding session.  As an example, in the case of RSVP,
      the "session specification" identifies the QoS session plus refers
      to the data flow; the "flowspec" specifies the desired QoS
      treatment and the "filter spec" defines the subset of data packets
      in the data flow that receive the QoS defined by the flowspec.

      QoS sessions can be unicast or multicast depending on the number
      of participants.  In a multicast group, there can be several data
      traffic sources and destinations.  Here the QoS agreement does not
      have to be the same for each branch of the multicast tree
      forwarding the data flow of the group.  Instead, a dedicated
      network resource in a router can be shared among many traffic
      sources from the same multicast group (cf. multicast reservation
      styles in the case of RSVP).

   Issues:
      Even though QoS sessions are considered to be unique, resource
      reservation capable routers might aggregate them and allocate
      network resources to these aggregated sessions at once.  The
      aggregation can be based on similar data flow attributes (e.g.,
      similar destination addresses) or it can combine arbitrary
      sessions as well.  While reservation aggregation significantly
      lightens the signaling processing task of a resource reservation
      capable router, it also requires the administration of the
      aggregated QoS sessions and might also lead to the violation of
      the quality guaranties referring to individual data flows within
      an aggregation [16].

3.2.2.  Resource Reservation Protocol

   Definition:
      Resource reservation protocols define signaling messages and
      message processing rules used to control resource allocation in
      IntServ architectures.

   Discussion:
      It is the signaling messages of a resource reservation protocol
      that carry the information related to QoS sessions.  This
      information includes a session identifier, the actual QoS
      parameters, and possibly flow descriptors.

      The message processing rules of the signaling protocols ensure
      that signaling messages reach all network nodes concerned.  Some
      resource reservation protocols (e.g., RSVP, NSIS QoS NSLP [8]) are
      only concerned with this, i.e., carrying the QoS-related

      information to all the appropriate network nodes, without being
      aware of its content.  This latter approach allows changing the
      way the QoS parameters are described, and different kinds of
      provisioning can be realized without the need to change the
      protocol itself.

3.2.3.  Resource Reservation Capable Router

   Definition:
      A router is resource reservation capable (it supports resource
      reservation) if it is able to interpret signaling messages of a
      resource reservation protocol, and based on these messages is able
      to adjust the management of its flow classifiers and network
      resources so as to conform to the content of the signaling
      messages.

   Discussion:
      Routers capture signaling messages and manipulate reservation
      states and/or reserved network resources according to the content
      of the messages.  This ensures that the flows are treated as their
      specified QoS requirements indicate.

3.2.4.  Reservation State

   Definition:
      A reservation state is the set of entries in the router's memory
      that contain all relevant information about a given QoS session
      registered with the router.

   Discussion:
      States are needed because IntServ-related resource reservation
      protocols require the routers to keep track of QoS session and
      data-flow-related metadata.  The reservation state includes the
      parameters of the QoS treatment, the description of how and where
      to forward the incoming signaling messages, refresh timing
      information, etc.

      Based on how reservation states are stored in a reservation
      capable router, the routers can be categorized into two classes:

      Hard-state resource reservation protocols (e.g., ST2 [11]) require
      routers to store the reservation states permanently, established
      by a setup signaling primitive, until the router is explicitly
      informed that the QoS session is canceled.

      There are also soft-state resource reservation capable routers,
      where there are no permanent reservation states, and each state
      has to be regularly refreshed by appropriate refresh signaling

      messages.  If no refresh signaling message arrives during a
      certain period, then the router stops the maintenance of the QoS
      session assuming that the end-points do not intend to keep the
      session up any longer or the communication lines are broken
      somewhere along the data path.  This feature makes soft-state
      resource reservation capable routers more robust than hard-state
      routers, since no failures can cause resources to stay permanently
      stuck in the routers.  (Note that it is still possible to have an
      explicit teardown message in soft-state protocols for quicker
      resource release.)

   Issues:
      Based on the initiating point of the refresh messages, soft-state
      resource reservation protocols can be divided into two groups.
      First, there are protocols where it is the responsibility of the
      end-points or their proxies to initiate refresh messages.  These
      messages are forwarded along the path of the data flow refreshing
      the corresponding reservation states in each router affected by
      the flow.  Second, there are other protocols, where routers and
      end-points have their own schedule for the reservation state
      refreshes and they signal these refreshes to the neighboring
      routers.

3.2.5.  Resource Reservation Protocol Orientation

   Definition:
      The orientation of a resource reservation protocol tells which end
      of the protocol communication initiates the allocation of the
      network resources.  Thus, the protocol can be sender- or
      receiver-oriented, depending on the location of the data flow
      source (sender) and destination (receiver) compared to the
      reservation initiator.

   Discussion:
      In the case of sender-oriented protocols (in some sources referred
      to as sender-initiated protocols), the resource reservation
      propagates in the same direction(s) as of the data flow(s).
      Consequently, in the case of receiver-oriented protocols, the
      signaling messages reserving resources are forwarded backward on
      the path of the data flow.  Due to the asymmetric routing nature
      of the Internet, in this latter case, the path of the desired data
      flow should be known before the reservation initiator would be
      able to send the resource allocation messages.  For example, in
      the case of RSVP, the RSVP PATH message, traveling from the data
      flow sources towards the destinations, first marks the path of the
      data flow on which the resource allocation messages will travel
      backward.

      This definition considers only protocols that reserve resources
      for just one data flow between the end-nodes.  The reservation
      orientation of protocols that reserve more than one data flow is
      not defined here.

   Issues:
      The location of the reservation initiator affects the basics of
      the resource reservation protocols and therefore is an important
      aspect of characterization.  Most importantly, in the case of
      multicast QoS sessions, the sender-oriented protocols require the
      traffic sources to maintain a list of receivers and send their
      allocation messages considering the different requirements of the
      receivers.  Using multicast QoS sessions, the receiver-oriented
      protocols enable the receivers to manage their own resource
      allocation requests and thus ease the task of the sources.

3.3.  Router Load Factors

      When a router is under "load", it means that there are tasks its
      CPU(s) must attend to, and/or that its memory contains data it
      must keep track of, and/or that its interface buffers are utilized
      to some extent, etc.  Unfortunately, we cannot assume that the
      full internal state of a router can be monitored during a
      benchmark; rather, we must consider the router to be a black box.

      We need to look at router "load" in a way that makes this "load"
      measurable and controllable.  Instead of focusing on the internal
      processes of a router, we will consider the external, and
      therefore observable, measurable and controllable processes that
      result in "load".

      In this section we introduce several ways of creating "load" on a
      router; we will refer to these as "load factors" henceforth.
      These load factors are defined so that they each impact the
      performance of the router in a different way (or by different
      means), by utilizing different components of a resource
      reservation capable router as separately as possible.

      During a benchmark, the performance of the device under test will
      have to be measured under different controlled load conditions,
      that is, with different values of these load factors.

3.3.1.  Best-Effort Traffic Load Factor

   Definition:
      The best-effort traffic load factor is defined as the number and
      length of equal-sized best-effort data packets that traverse the
      router in a second.

   Discussion:
      Forwarding the best-effort data packets, which requires obtaining
      the routing information and transferring the data packet between
      network interfaces, requires processing power.  This load factor
      creates load on the CPU(s) and buffers of the router.

      For the purpose of benchmarking, we define a traffic flow as a
      stream of equal-sized packets with even interpacket delay.  It is
      possible to specify traffic with varying packet sizes as a
      superposition of multiple best-effort traffic flows as they are
      defined here.

   Issues:
      The same amount of data segmented into differently sized packets
      causes different amounts of load on the router, which has to be
      considered during benchmarking measurements.  The measurement unit
      of this load factor reflects this as well.

   Measurement unit:
      This load factor has a composite unit of [packets per second
      (pps); bytes].  For example, [5 pps; 100 bytes] means five pieces
      of one-hundred-byte packets per second.

3.3.2.  Distinguished Traffic Load Factor

   Definition:
      The distinguished traffic load factor is defined as the number and
      length of the distinguished data packets that traverse the router
      in a second.

   Discussion:
      Similarly to the best-effort data, forwarding the distinguished
      data packets requires obtaining the routing information and
      transferring the data packet between network interfaces.  However,
      in this case packets have to be classified as well, which requires
      additional processing capacity.

      For the purpose of benchmarking, we define a traffic flow as a
      stream of equal-sized packets with even interpacket delay.  It is
      possible to specify traffic with varying packet sizes as a
      superposition of multiple distinguished traffic flows as they are
      defined here.

   Issues:
      Just as in the best-effort case, the same amount of data segmented
      into differently sized packets causes different amounts of load on
      the router, which has to be considered during the benchmarking

      measurements.  The measurement unit of this load factor reflects
      this as well.

   Measurement unit:
      This load factor has a composite unit of [packets per second
      (pps); bytes].  For example, [5 pps; 100 bytes] means five pieces
      of one-hundred-byte packets per second.

3.3.3.  Session Load Factor

   Definition:
      The session load factor is the number of QoS sessions the router
      is keeping track of.

   Discussion:
      Resource reservation capable routers maintain reservation states
      to keep track of QoS sessions.  Obviously, the more reservation
      states are registered with the router, the more complex the
      traffic classification becomes, and the more time it takes to look
      up the corresponding resource reservation state.  Moreover, not
      only the traffic flows, but also the signaling messages that
      control the reservation states have to be identified first, before
      taking any other action, and this kind of classification also
      means extra work for the router.

      In the case of soft-state resource reservation protocols, the
      session load also affects reservation state maintenance.  For
      example, the supervision of timers that watchdog the reservation
      state refreshes may cause further load on the router.

      This load factor utilizes the CPU(s), the main memory, and the
      session management logic (e.g., content addressable memory), if
      any, of the resource reservation capable router.

   Measurement unit:
      This load component is measured by the number of QoS sessions that
      impact the router.

3.3.4.  Signaling Intensity Load Factor

   Definition:
      The signaling intensity load factor is the number of signaling
      messages that are presented at the input interfaces of the router
      during one second.

   Discussion:
      The processing of signaling messages requires processor power that
      raises the load on the control plane of the router.

      In routers where the control plane and the data plane are not
      totally independent (e.g., certain parts of the tasks are served
      by the same processor; or the architecture has common memory
      buffers, transfer buses or any other resources) the signaling load
      can have an impact on the router's packet forwarding performance
      as well.

      Naturally, just as everywhere else in this document, the term
      "signaling messages" refer only to the resource reservation
      protocol related primitives.

   Issues:
      Most resource reservation protocols have several protocol
      primitives realized by different signaling message types.  Each of
      these message types may require a different amount of processing
      power from the router.  This fact has to be considered during the
      benchmarking measurements.

   Measurement unit:
      The unit of this factor is signaling messages/second.

3.3.5.  Signaling Burst Load Factor

   Definition:
      The signaling burst load factor is defined as the number of
      signaling messages that arrive to one input port of the router
      back-to-back ([1]), causing persistent load on the signaling
      message handler.

   Discussion:
      The definition focuses on one input port only and does not
      consider the traffic arriving at the other input ports.  As a
      consequence, a set of messages arriving at different ports, but
      with such a timing that would be a burst if the messages arrived
      at the same port, is not considered to be a burst.  The reason for
      this is that it is not guaranteed in a black-box test that this
      would have the same effect on the router as a burst (incoming at
      the same interface) has.

      This definition conforms to the burst definition given in [3].

   Issues:
      Most of the resource reservation protocols have several protocol
      primitives realized by different signaling message types.  Bursts
      built up of different messages may have a different effect on the
      router.  Consequently, during measurements the content of the
      burst has to be considered as well.

      Likewise, the first one of multiple idempotent signaling messages
      that each accomplish exactly the same end will probably not take
      the same amount of time to be processed as subsequent ones.
      Benchmarking methodology will have to consider the intended effect
      of the signaling messages, as well as the state of the router at
      the time of their arrival.

   Measurement unit:
      This load factor is characterized by the number of messages in the
      burst.

3.4.  Performance Metrics

   This group of definitions is a collection of measurable quantities
   that describe the performance impact the different load components
   have on the router.

   During a benchmark, the values of these metrics will have to be
   measured under different load conditions.

3.4.1.  Signaling Message Handling Time

   Definition:
      The signaling message handling time (or, in short, signal handling
      time) is the latency ([1], for store-and-forward devices) of a
      signaling message passing through the router.

   Discussion:
      The router interprets the signaling messages, acts based on their
      content and usually forwards them in an unmodified or modified
      form.  Thus the message handling time is usually longer than the
      forwarding time of data packets of the same size.

      There might be signaling message primitives, however, that are
      drained or generated by the router, like certain refresh messages.
      In this case, the signal handling time is not necessarily
      measureable, therefore it is not defined for such messages.

      In the case of signaling messages that carry information
      pertaining to multicast flows, the router might issue multiple
      signaling messages after processing them.  In this case, by
      definition, the signal handling time is the latency between the
      incoming signaling message and the last outgoing signaling message
      related to the received one.

      The signal handling time is an important characteristic as it
      directly affects the setup time of a QoS session.

   Issues:
      The signal handling time may be dependent on the type of the
      signaling message.  For example, it usually takes a shorter time
      for the router to remove a reservation state than to set it up.
      This fact has to be considered during the benchmarking process.

      As noted above, the first one of multiple idempotent signaling
      messages that each accomplish exactly the same end will probably
      not take the same amount of time to be processed as subsequent
      ones.  Benchmarking methodology will have to consider the intended
      effect of the signaling messages, as well as the state of the
      router at the time of their arrival.

   Measurement unit:
      The dimension of the signaling message handling time is the
      second, reported with a resolution sufficient to distinguish
      between different events/DUTs (e.g., milliseconds).  Reported
      results MUST clearly indicate the time unit used.

3.4.2.  Distinguished Traffic Delay

   Definition:
      Distinguished traffic delay is the latency ([1], for store-and-
      forward devices) of a distinguished data packet passing through
      the tested router device.

   Discussion:
      Distinguished traffic packets must be classified first in order to
      assign the network resources dedicated to the flow.  The time of
      the classification is added to the usual forwarding time
      (including the queuing) that a router would spend on the packet
      without any resource reservation capability.  This classification
      procedure might be quite time consuming in routers with vast
      amounts of reservation states.

      There are routers where the processing power is shared between the
      control plane and the data plane.  This means that the processing
      of signaling messages may have an impact on the data forwarding
      performance of the router.  In this case, the distinguished
      traffic delay metric also indicates the influence the two planes
      have on each other.

   Issues:
      Queuing of the incoming data packets in routers can bias this
      metric, so the measurement procedures have to consider this
      effect.

   Measurement unit:
      The dimension of the distinguished traffic delay time is the
      second, reported with resolution sufficient to distinguish between
      different events/DUTs (e.g., millisecond units).  Reported results
      MUST clearly indicate the time unit used.

3.4.3.  Best-effort Traffic Delay

   Definition:
      Best-effort traffic delay is the latency of a best-effort data
      packet traversing the tested router device.

   Discussion:
      If the processing power of the router is shared between the
      control and data plane, then the processing of signaling messages
      may have an impact on the data forwarding performance of the
      router.  In this case, the best-effort traffic delay metric is an
      indicator of the influence the two planes have on each other.

   Issues:
      Queuing of the incoming data packets in routers can bias this
      metric as well, so measurement procedures have to consider this
      effect.

   Measurement unit:
      The dimension of the best-effort traffic delay is the second,
      reported with resolution sufficient to distinguish between
      different events/DUTs (e.g., millisecond units).  Reported results
      MUST clearly indicate the time unit used.

3.4.4.  Signaling Message Deficit

   Definition:
      Signaling message deficit is one minus the ratio of the actual and
      the expected number of signaling messages leaving a resource
      reservation capable router.

   Discussion:
      This definition gives the same value as the ratio of the lost
      (that is, not forwarded or not generated) and the expected
      messages.  The above calculation must be used because the number
      of lost messages cannot be measured directly.

      There are certain types of signaling messages that reservation
      capable routers are required to forward as soon as their
      processing is finished.  However, due to lack of resources or
      other reasons, the forwarding or even the processing of these
      signaling messages might not take place.

      Certain other kinds of signaling messages must be generated by the
      router in the absence of any corresponding incoming message.  It
      is possible that an overloaded router does not have the resources
      necessary to generate such a message.

      To characterize these situations we introduce the signaling
      message deficit metric that expresses the ratio of the signaling
      messages that have actually left the router and those ones that
      were expected to leave the router.  We subtract this ratio from
      one in order to obtain a loss-type metric instead of a "message
      survival metric".

      Since the most frequent reason for signaling message deficit is
      high router load, this metric is suitable for sounding out the
      scalability limits of resource reservation capable routers.

      During the measurements one must be able to determine whether a
      signaling message is still in the queues of the router or if it
      has already been dropped.  For this reason we define a signaling
      message as lost if no forwarded signaling message is emitted
      within a reasonably long time period.  This period is defined
      along with the benchmarking methodology.

   Measurement unit:
      This measure has no unit; it is expressed as a real number, which
      is between zero and one, including the limits.

3.4.5.  Session Maintenance Capacity

   Definition:
      The session maintenance capacity metric is used in the case of
      soft-state resource reservation protocols only.  It is defined as
      the ratio of the number of QoS sessions actually being maintained
      and the number of QoS sessions that should have been maintained.

   Discussion:
      For soft-state protocols maintaining a QoS session means
      refreshing the reservation states associated with it.

      When a soft-state resource reservation capable router is
      overloaded, it may happen that the router is not able to refresh
      all the registered reservation states, because it does not have
      the time to run the state refresh task.  In this case, sooner or
      later some QoS sessions will be lost even if the endpoints still
      require their maintenance.

      The session maintenance capacity sounds out the maximal number of
      QoS sessions that the router is capable of maintaining.

   Issues:
      The actual process of session maintenance is protocol and
      implementation dependent, thus so is the method to examine whether
      a session is maintained or not.

      In the case of soft-state resource reservation protocols, where
      the network nodes are responsible for generating the refresh
      messages, a router that fails to maintain a QoS session may not
      emit refresh signaling messages either.  This has direct
      consequences on the signaling message deficit metric.

   Measurement unit:
      This measure has no unit; it is expressed as a real number, which
      is between zero and one (including the limits).

3.5.  Router Load Conditions and Scalability Limit

   Depending mainly, but not exclusively, on the overall load of a
   router, it can be in exactly one of the following four conditions at
   a time: loss-free and QoS compliant; lossy and QoS compliant; loss-
   free but not QoS compliant; and neither loss-free nor QoS compliant.
   These conditions are defined below, along with the scalability limit.

3.5.1.  Loss-Free Condition

   Definition:
      A router is in loss-free condition, or loss-free state, if and
      only if it is able to perform its tasks correctly and in a timely
      fashion.

   Discussion:
      All existing routers have finite buffer memory and finite
      processing power.  If a router is in loss-free state, the buffers
      of the router still contain enough free space to accommodate the
      next incoming packet when it arrives.  Also, the router has enough
      processing power to cope with all its tasks, thus all required
      operations are carried out within the time the protocol
      specification allows; or, if this time is not specified by the
      protocol, then in "reasonable time" (which is then defined in the
      benchmarks).  Similar considerations can be applied to other
      resources a router may have, if any; in loss-free states, the
      utilization of these resources still allows the router to carry
      out its tasks in accordance with applicable protocol
      specifications and in "reasonable time".

      Note that loss-free states as defined above are not related to the
      reservation states of resource reservation protocols.  The word
      "state" is used to mean "condition".

      Also note that it is irrelevant what internal reason causes a
      router to fail to perform in accordance with protocol
      specifications or in "reasonable time"; if it is not high load but
      -- for example -- an implementation error that causes the device
      to perform inadequately, it still cannot be said to be in a loss-
      free state.  The same applies to the random early dropping of
      packets in order to prevent congestion.  In a black-box
      measurement it is impossible to determine whether a packet was
      dropped as part of a congestion control mechanism or because the
      router was unable to forward it; therefore, if packet loss is
      observed except as noted below, the router is by definition in
      lossy state (lossy condition).

      If a distinguished data flow exceeds its allotted bandwidth, it is
      acceptable for routers to drop excess packets.  Thus, a router
      that is QoS Compliant (see below) is also loss-free provided that
      it only drops packets from distinguished data flows.

      If a device is not in a loss-free state, it is in a lossy
      condition/state.

   Related definitions:
      Lossy Condition
      QoS Compliant Condition
      Not QoS Compliant Condition
      Scalability Limit

3.5.2.  Lossy Condition

   Definition:
      A router is in a lossy condition, or lossy state, if it cannot
      perform its duties adequately for some reason; that is, if it does
      not meet protocol specifications (except QoS guarantees, which are
      treated separately), or -- if time-related specifications are
      missing -- doesn't complete some operations in "reasonable time"
      (which is then defined in the benchmarks).

   Discussion:
      A router may be in a lossy state for several reasons, including
      but not necessarily limited to the following:

      a) Buffer memory has run out, so either an incoming or a buffered
         packet has to be dropped.

      b) The router doesn't have enough processing power to cope with
         all its duties.  Some required operations are skipped, aborted
         or suffer unacceptable delays.

      c) Some other finite internal resource is exhausted.

      d) The router runs a defective (non-conforming) protocol
         implementation.

      e) Hardware malfunction.

      f) A congestion control mechanism is active.

      Loss can mean the loss of data packets as well as signaling
      message deficit.

      A router that does not lose data packets and does not experience
      signaling message deficit but fails to meet required QoS
      parameters is in the loss-free, but not in the QoS compliant
      state.

      If a device is not in a lossy state, it is in a loss-free
      condition/state.

   Related definitions:
      Loss-Free Condition (especially the discussion of congestion
         control mechanisms that cause packet loss)
      Scalability Limit
      Signaling Message Deficit
      QoS Compliant Condition
      Not QoS Compliant Condition

3.5.3.  QoS Compliant Condition

   Definition:
      A router is in the QoS compliant state if and only if all
      distinguished data flows receive the QoS treatment they are
      entitled to.

   Discussion:
      Defining what specific QoS guarantees must be upheld is beyond the
      scope of this document because every reservation model may specify
      a different set of such parameters.

      Loss, delay, jitter etc. of best-effort data flows are irrelevant
      when considering whether a router is in the QoS compliant state.

   Related definitions:
      Loss-Free Condition
      Lossy Condition
      Not QoS Compliant Condition
      Scalability Limit

3.5.4.  Not QoS Compliant Condition

   Definition:
      A router is in the not QoS compliant state if and only if it is
      not in the QoS compliant condition.

   Related definitions:
      Loss-Free Condition
      Lossy Condition
      QoS Compliant Condition
      Scalability Limit

3.5.5.  Scalability Limit

   Definition:
      The scalability limits of a router are the boundary load
      conditions where the router is still in the loss-free and QoS
      compliant state, but the smallest amount of additional load would
      drive it to a state that is either QoS compliant but not loss-
      free, or not QoS compliant but loss-free, or neither loss-free nor
      QoS compliant.

   Discussion:
      An unloaded router that operates correctly is in a loss-free and
      QoS compliant state.  As load increases, the resources of the
      router are becoming more and more utilized.  At a certain point,
      the router enters a state that is either not QoS compliant, or not
      loss-free, or neither QoS compliant nor loss-free.  Note that such
      a point may be impossible to reach in some cases (for example if
      the bandwidth of the physical medium prevents increasing the
      traffic load any further).

      A particular load condition can be identified by the corresponding
      values of the load factors (as defined in 3.3 Router Load Factors)
      impacting the router.  These values can be represented as a 7-
      tuple of numbers (there are only five load factors, but the
      traffic load factors have composite units and thus require two
      numbers each to express).  We can think of these tuples as vectors
      that correspond to a state that is either both loss free and QoS
      compliant, or not loss-free (but QoS compliant), or not QoS
      compliant (but loss-free), or neither loss-free nor QoS compliant.
      The scalability limit of the router is, then, the boundary between

      the sets of vectors corresponding to the loss-free and QoS
      compliant states and all other states.  Finding these boundary
      points is one of the objectives of benchmarking.

      Benchmarks may try to separately identify the boundaries of the
      loss-free and of the QoS compliant conditions in the (seven-
      dimensional) space defined by the load-vectors.

   Related definitions:
      Lossy Condition
      Loss-Free Condition
      QoS Compliant Condition
      Non QoS Compliant Condition

4.  Security Considerations

   As this document only provides terminology and does not describe a
   protocol, an implementation, or a procedure, there are no security
   considerations associated with it.

5.  Acknowledgements

   We would like to thank Telia Research AB, Sweden and the High Speed
   Networks Laboratory at the Department of Telecommunication and Media
   Informatics of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics,
   Hungary for their support in the research and development work, which
   contributed to the creation of this document.

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

   [1]  Bradner, S., "Benchmarking Terminology for Network
        Interconnection Devices", RFC 1242, July 1991.

   [2]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
        Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

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

6.2.  Informative References

   [4]  Braden, R., Clark, D., and S. Shenker, "Integrated Services in
        the Internet Architecture: an Overview", RFC 1633, June 1994.

   [5]  Braden, R., Ed., Zhang, L., Berson, S., Herzog, S., and S.
        Jamin, "Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) -- Version 1
        Functional Specification", RFC 2205, September 1997.

   [6]  Hancock, R., Karagiannis, G., Loughney, J., and S. Van den
        Bosch, "Next Steps in Signaling (NSIS): Framework", RFC 4080,
        June 2005.

   [7]  Schulzrinne, H. and R. Hancock, "GIST:  General Internet
        Signaling Transport", Work in Progress, April 2007.

   [8]  Manner, J., Ed., Karagiannis, G., and A. McDonald, "NSLP for
        Quality-of-Service Signaling", Work in Progress, June 2007.

   [9]  Ash, J., Bader, A., Kappler, C., and D. Oran, "QoS NSLP QSPEC
        Template", Work in Progress, March 2007.

   [10] P. Pan, H. Schulzrinne, "YESSIR: A Simple Reservation Mechanism
        for the Internet", Computer Communication Review, on-line
        version, volume 29, number 2, April 1999

   [11] Delgrossi, L. and L. Berger, "Internet Stream Protocol Version 2
        (ST2) Protocol Specification - Version ST2+", RFC 1819, August
        1995.

   [12] P. White, J. Crowcroft, "A Case for Dynamic Sender-Initiated
        Reservation in the Internet", Journal on High Speed Networks,
        Special Issue on QoS Routing and Signaling, Vol. 7 No. 2, 1998

   [13] J. Bergkvist, D. Ahlard, T. Engborg, K. Nemeth, G. Feher, I.
        Cselenyi, M. Maliosz, "Boomerang : A Simple Protocol for
        Resource Reservation in IP Networks", Vancouver, IEEE Real-Time
        Technology and Applications Symposium, June 1999

   [14] A. Eriksson, C. Gehrmann, "Robust and Secure Light-weight
        Resource Reservation for Unicast IP Traffic", International WS
        on QoS'98, IWQoS'98, May 18-20, 1998

   [15] Manner, J. and X. Fu, "Analysis of Existing Quality-of-Service
        Signaling Protocols", RFC 4094, May 2005.

   [16] Baker, F., Iturralde, C., Le Faucheur, F., and B. Davie,
        "Aggregation of RSVP for IPv4 and IPv6 Reservations", RFC 3175,
        September 2001.

Authors' Addresses

   Gabor Feher
   Budapest University of Technology and Economics
   Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics
   Magyar Tudosok krt. 2, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary

   Phone: +36 1 463-1538
   EMail: Gabor.Feher@tmit.bme.hu

   Krisztian Nemeth
   Budapest University of Technology and Economics
   Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics
   Magyar Tudosok krt. 2, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary

   Phone: +36 1 463-1565
   EMail: Krisztian.Nemeth@tmit.bme.hu

   Andras Korn
   Budapest University of Technology and Economics
   Department of Telecommunication and Media Informatics
   Magyar Tudosok krt. 2, H-1117, Budapest, Hungary

   Phone: +36 1 463-2664
   EMail: Andras.Korn@tmit.bme.hu

   Istvan Cselenyi
   TeliaSonera International Carrier
   Vaci ut 22-24, H-1132 Budapest, Hungary

   Phone: +36 1 412-2705
   EMail: Istvan.Cselenyi@teliasonera.com

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