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Applicability Statement for RFC 2544: Use on Production Networks Considered Harmful
RFC 6815

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        S. Bradner
Request for Comments: 6815                            Harvard University
Updates: 2544                                                  K. Dubray
Category: Informational                                 Juniper Networks
ISSN: 2070-1721                                               J. McQuaid
                                                            Turnip Video
                                                               A. Morton
                                                               AT&T Labs
                                                           November 2012

                 Applicability Statement for RFC 2544:
             Use on Production Networks Considered Harmful

Abstract

   The Benchmarking Methodology Working Group (BMWG) has been developing
   key performance metrics and laboratory test methods since 1990, and
   continues this work at present.  The methods described in RFC 2544
   are intended to generate traffic that overloads network device
   resources in order to assess their capacity.  Overload of shared
   resources would likely be harmful to user traffic performance on a
   production network, and there are further negative consequences
   identified with production application of the methods.  This memo
   clarifies the scope of RFC 2544 and other IETF BMWG benchmarking work
   for isolated test environments only, and it encourages new standards
   activity for measurement methods applicable outside that scope.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6815.

Bradner, et al.               Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 6815                 RFC 2544 Applicability            November 2012

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Requirements Language ......................................4
   2. Scope and Goals .................................................4
   3. The Concept of an Isolated Test Environment .....................4
   4. Why the Methods of RFC 2544 Are Intended Only for ITE ...........4
      4.1. Experimental Control and Accuracy ..........................4
      4.2. Containing Damage ..........................................5
   5. Advisory on RFC 2544 Methods in Production Networks .............5
   6. Considering Performance Testing in Production Networks ..........6
   7. Security Considerations .........................................7
   8. Acknowledgements ................................................7
   9. References ......................................................8
      9.1. Normative References .......................................8
      9.2. Informative References .....................................8
   Appendix A. Example of RFC 2544 Method Failure in Production
               Network Measurement ....................................9

Bradner, et al.               Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 6815                 RFC 2544 Applicability            November 2012

1.  Introduction

   This memo clarifies the scope and use of IETF Benchmarking
   Methodology Working Group (BMWG) tests including [RFC2544], which
   discusses and defines several tests that may be used to characterize
   the performance of a network interconnecting device.  All readers of
   this memo must read and fully understand [RFC2544].

   Benchmarking methodologies (beginning with [RFC2544]) have always

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