Network Working Group                                       C. Popoviciu
Internet-Draft                                                  A. Hamza
Expires: January 3, 2008                                 G. Van de Velde
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                             D. Dugatkin
                                                            July 2, 2007

                     IPv6 Benchmarking Methodology

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   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

   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 3, 2008.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).


   The Benchmarking Methodologies defined in RFC2544 [8] are IP version
   independent however, they do not address some of the specificities of
   IPv6.  This document provides additional benchmarking guidelines
   which in conjunction with RFC2544 lead to a more complete and
   realistic evaluation of the IPv6 performance of network elements.

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 1]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Existing Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Tests and Results Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   4.  Test Environment Set Up  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   5.  Test Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     5.1.  Frame Formats and Sizes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
       5.1.1.  Frame Sizes to be used on Ethernet . . . . . . . . . .  5
       5.1.2.  Frame Sizes to be used on SONET  . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     5.2.  Protocol Addresses Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       5.2.1.  DUT Protocol Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       5.2.2.  Test Traffic Protocol Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.3.  Traffic with Extension Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.4.  Traffic set up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  Modifiers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     6.1.  Management and Routing Traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     6.2.  Filters  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       6.2.1.  Filter Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       6.2.2.  Filter Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.  Benchmarking Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     7.1.  Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     7.2.  Latency  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     7.3.  Frame Loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     7.4.  Back-to-Back Frames  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     7.5.  System Recovery  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     7.6.  Reset  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   9.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   10. Conclusions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   11. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   12. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     12.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     12.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   Appendix A.  Theoretical Maximum Frame Rates Reference . . . . . . 15
     A.1.  Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     A.2.  Packet over SONET  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 19

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 2]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

1.  Introduction

   The benchmarking methodologies defined by RFC2544 [8] are proving to
   be useful in consistently evaluating IPv4 forwarding performance of
   network elements.  Adherence to these testing and result analysis
   procedures facilitates objective comparison of IPv4 performance data
   measured on various products and by various individuals.  While the
   principles behind the methodologies introduced in RFC2544 are largely
   IP version independent, the protocol continued to evolve,
   particularly in its version 6 (IPv6).

   This document provides benchmarking methodology recommendations that
   address IPv6 specific aspects such as evaluating the forwarding
   performance of traffic containing extension headers as defined in
   RFC2460 [2].  These recommendations are defined within the RFC2544
   framework and are meant to complement the test and result analysis
   procedures as described in RFC2544 and not replace them.

   The terms used in this document remain consistent with those defined
   in "Benchmarking Terminology for Network Interconnect Devices" [6].
   This terminology SHOULD be consulted before using or applying the
   recommendations of this document.

   Any methodology aspects not covered in this document SHOULD be
   assumed to be treated based on the RFC2544 recommendations.

2.  Existing Definitions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14, RFC 2119 [1].
   RFC 2119 defines the use of these key words to help make the intent
   of standards track documents as clear as possible.  While this
   document uses these keywords, this document is not a standards track

3.  Tests and Results Evaluation

   The recommended performance evaluation tests are described in Section
   6 of this document.  Not all of these tests are applicable to all
   network element types.  Nevertheless, for each evaluated device it is
   recommended to perform as many of the applicable tests described in
   Section 6 as possible.

   Test execution and the results analysis MUST be performed while
   observing generally accepted testing practices regarding

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 3]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   repeatability, variance and statistical significance of small numbers
   of trials.

4.  Test Environment Set Up

   The test environment setup options recommended for the IPv6
   performance evaluation are the same as the ones described in Section
   6 of RFC2544, in both single-port and multi-port scenarios.  Single-
   port testing is used in measuring per interface forwarding
   performance while multi-port testing is used to measure the
   scalability of forwarding performance across the entire platform.

   Throughout the test, the DUT can be monitored for relevant resource
   (Processor, Memory, etc.) utilization.  This data could be beneficial
   in understanding traffic processing by each DUT and the resources
   that must be allocated for IPv6.  It could reveal if the IPv6 traffic
   is processed in hardware, by applicable devices, under all test
   conditions or it is punted in the software switched path.  If such
   data is considered of interest, it MUST be collected out of band and
   independent of any management data that might be recommended to be
   collected through the interfaces forwarding the test traffic.

   Note: During testing, either static or dynamic options for neighbor
   discovery can be used.  The static option can be used as long as it
   is supported by the test tool.  The dynamic option is preferred
   wherein the test tool interacts with the DUT for the duration of the
   test to maintain the respective neighbor caches in an active state.
   To avoid neighbor solicitation (NS) and neighbor advertisement (NA)
   storms due to the neighbor unreachability detection (NUD) mechanism
   [3], the test scenarios assume the test traffic simulates end points
   and the IPv6 source and destination addresses are one hop beyond the

5.  Test Traffic

   The traffic used for all tests described in this document SHOULD meet
   the requirements described in this section.  These requirements are
   designed to reflect the characteristics of IPv6 unicast traffic in
   all its aspects.  Using the recommended IPv6 traffic profile leads to
   a complete evaluation of the network element performance.

5.1.  Frame Formats and Sizes

   Two types of media are commonly deployed and each SHOULD be tested if
   the network element supports that type of media: Ethernet and SONET.
   This section identifies the frame sizes that SHOULD be used for each

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 4]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   media type.  Refer to recommendations in RFC2544 for all other media

   Similar to IPv4, small frame sizes help characterize the per-frame
   processing overhead of the DUT.  Note that the minimum IPv6 packet
   size (40 bytes) is larger than that of an IPv4 packet (20 bytes).
   Tests should compensate for this difference.

   The frame sizes listed for IPv6 include the extension headers used in
   testing (see section 4.3).  By definition, extension headers are part
   of the IPv6 packet payload.  Depending on the total length of the
   extension headers, their use might not be possible at the smallest
   frame sizes.

   Note: Test tools are commonly using signatures to identify test
   traffic packets to verify that there are no packet drops, out of
   order packets or to calculate various statistics such as delay and
   jitter.  This could be the reason why the minimum frame size
   selectable through the test tool might not be as low as the
   theoretical one presented in this document.

5.1.1.  Frame Sizes to be used on Ethernet

   Ethernet in all its types has become the most commonly deployed
   interface in today's networks.  The following frame sizes SHOULD be
   used for benchmarking over this media type: 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024,
   1280, 1518 bytes.  Tests with jumbo frames SHOULD be executed.  Frame
   sizes should be selected based on the values supported by the device
   under test due to the absence of a common standard defining the jumbo
   frame sizes.  Examples of common jumbo frame sizes are: 4096, 8192,
   9216 bytes.  The maximum frame rates for each frame size and the
   various Ethernet interface types are provided in Appendix A.

5.1.2.  Frame Sizes to be used on SONET

   Packet over SONET (PoS) interfaces are commonly used for edge uplinks
   and high bandwidth core links.  Evaluating the forwarding performance
   of PoS interfaces supported by the DUT is recommended.  The following
   frame sizes SHOULD be used for this media type: 53, 64, 128, 256,
   512, 1024, 1280, 1518, 2048, 4096 bytes.  The maximum frame rates for
   each frame size and the various PoS interface types are provided in
   Appendix A.

5.2.  Protocol Addresses Selection

   There are two aspects of IPv6 benchmarking testing where IP address
   selection considerations MUST be analyzed: The selection of IP
   addresses for the DUT and the selection of addresses for the test

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 5]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007


5.2.1.  DUT Protocol Addresses

   IANA reserved the IPv6 address block xxxxx/48 for use with IPv6
   benchmark testing.  These addresses MUST be assumed to be not
   routable on the Internet and MUST not be used as Internet source or
   destination addresses.

   Note to IANA: Replace "xxxxx" with assigned prefix.

   Similar to RFC2544, Appendix C, addresses from the first half of this
   range SHOULD be used for the ports viewed as input and addresses from
   the other half of the range for the output ports.

   The prefix length of the IPv6 addresses configured on the DUT
   interfaces MUST fall into either one of the following:
   o  Prefix length is /126 which would simulate a point-to-point link
      for a core router.
   o  Prefix length is smaller or equal to /64.
   No prefix lengths SHOULD be selected in the range between 64 and 128
   except the 126 value mentioned above.

   Note that /126 prefixes might not be always the best choice for
   addressing point-to-point links such as back-to-back Ethernet unless
   the autoprovisioning mechanism is disabled.  Also, not all network
   elements support addresses of this prefix length.

   While with IPv6, the DUT interfaces can be configured with multiple
   global unicast addresses, the methodology described in this document
   does not require testing such a scenario.  It is not expected that
   such an evaluation would bring additional data with respect to the
   performance of the network element.

   The Interface ID portion of global unicast IPv6 DUT addresses SHOULD
   be set to ::1.  There are no requirements in the selection of the
   Interface ID portion of the link local IPv6 addresses.

   It is recommended that multiple iterations of the benchmark tests be
   conducted using the following prefix lengths: 48, 64, 126 and 128 for
   the advertised traffic destination prefix.  Other prefix lengths can
   be used.  However the indicated range reflects major prefix
   boundaries expected to be present in IPv6 routing tables and they
   should be representative to establish baseline performance metrics.

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 6]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

5.2.2.  Test Traffic Protocol Addresses

   The IPv6 source and destination addresses for the test streams SHOULD
   belong to the IPv6 range assigned by IANA as discussed in section
   5.2.1.  The source addresses SHOULD belong to one half of the range
   and the destination addresses to the other, reflecting the DUT
   interface IPv6 address selection.

   Tests SHOULD first be executed with a single stream leveraging a
   single source-destination address pair.  The tests SHOULD then be
   repeated with traffic using a random destination address in the
   corresponding range.  If the network element prefix lookup
   capabilities are evaluated, the tests SHOULD focus on the IPv6
   relevant prefix boundaries: 0-64, 126 and 128.

   Special care needs to be taken about the neighbor unreachability
   detection (NUD) [3] process.  The IPv6 prefix reachable time in the
   router advertisement SHOULD be set to 30 seconds and allow 50%
   jitter.  The IPv6 source and destination addresses SHOULD not appear
   to be directly connected to the DUT to avoid neighbor solicitation
   (NS) and neighbor advertisement (NA) storms due to multiple test
   traffic flows.

5.3.  Traffic with Extension Headers

   Extension headers are an intrinsic part of the IPv6 architecture [2].
   They are used with various types of practical traffic such as:
   fragmented traffic, mobile IP based traffic, authenticated and
   encrypted traffic.  For these reasons, all tests described in this
   document SHOULD be performed with both traffic that has no extension
   headers and traffic that has a set of extension headers.  They can be
   selected from the following list [2] which reflects the recommended
   order of multiple extension headers in a packet:
   o  Hop-by-hop header
   o  Destination options header
   o  Routing header
   o  Fragment header
   o  Authentication header
   o  Encapsulating Security Payload header
   o  Destination options header
   o  Mobility header

   Considering that extension headers are an intrinsic part of the
   protocol and that they fulfill different roles, benchmarking of
   traffic containing each extension header SHOULD be executed

   The special processing rules for the Hop-by-hop extension header

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 7]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   require a specific benchmarking approach.  Unlike the other extension
   headers, this header must be processed by each node that forwards the
   traffic.  Tests with traffic containing these extension header types
   will not measure the forwarding performance of the DUT but rather its
   extension header processing capability, which is dependent on the
   information contained in the extension headers.  The concern is that
   this traffic, at high rates, could have a negative impact on the
   operational resources of the router and could be used as a security
   threat.  When benchmarking with traffic that contains the Hop-by-hop
   extension header, the goal is not to measure throughput [8] as in the
   case of the other extension headers but rather to evaluate the impact
   of such traffic on the router.  In this case, traffic with the Hop-
   by-hop extension headers should be sent at 1%, 10% and 50% of the
   interface total bandwidth.  Device resources must be monitored at
   each traffic rate to determine the impact.

   The tests with traffic containing each individual extension header
   MUST be complemented with tests containing a chain of two or more
   extension headers (the chain MUST not contain the Hop-by-hop
   extension header).  The chain should also exclude the ESP [5]
   extension header since traffic with an encrypted payload can not be
   used in tests with modifiers such as filters based on upper layer
   information (see Section 5).  Since the DUT is not analyzing the
   content of the extension headers, any combination of extension
   headers can be used in testing.  The extension header chain
   recommended to be used in testing is:
   o  Routing header - 24-32 bytes
   o  Destination options header - 8 bytes
   o  Fragment header - 8 bytes

   This is a real life extension header chain that would be found in an
   IPv6 packet between two mobile nodes exchanged over an optimized path
   that requires fragmentation.  The listed extension headers lengths
   represent test tool defaults.  The total length of the extension
   header chain SHOULD be larger than 32 bytes.

   Extension headers add extra bytes to the payload size of the IP
   packets which MUST be factored in when used in testing at low frame
   sizes.  Their presence will modify the minimum packet size used in
   testing.  For direct comparison between the data obtained with
   traffic that has extension headers and with traffic that doesn't have
   them at low frame size, a common value SHOULD be selected for the
   smallest frame size both types of traffic.

   For most cases, the network elements ignore the extension headers
   when forwarding IPv6 traffic.  For these reasons it is likely that
   the extension headers related performance impact will be observed
   only when testing the DUT with traffic filters that contain matching

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 8]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   conditions for the upper layer protocol information.  In those cases,
   the DUT MUST traverse the chain of extension headers, a process that
   could impact performance.

5.4.  Traffic set up

   All tests recommended in this document SHOULD be performed with bi-
   directional traffic.  For asymmetric situations, tests MAY be
   performed with unidirectional traffic for a more granular
   characterization of the DUT performance.  In these cases, the
   bidirectional traffic testing would reveal only the lowest
   performance between the two directions.

   All other traffic profile characteristics described in RFC2544 SHOULD
   be applied in this testing as well.  IPv6 multicast benchmarking is
   outside the scope of this document.

6.  Modifiers

   RFC2544 underlines the importance of evaluating the performance of
   network elements under certain operational conditions.  The
   conditions defined in RFC2544 Section 11 are common to IPv4 and IPv6
   with the exception of broadcast frames.  IPv6 does not use layer 2 or
   layer 3 broadcasts.  This section provides additional conditions that
   are specific to IPv6.  The suite of tests recommended in this
   document SHOULD be first executed in the absence of these conditions
   and then repeated under each of these conditions separately.

6.1.  Management and Routing Traffic

   The procedures defined in RFC2544 sections 11.2 and 11.3 are
   applicable for IPv6 management and routing update Frames as well.

6.2.  Filters

   The filters defined in Section 11.4 of RFC2544 apply to IPv6
   benchmarking as well.  The filter definitions however must be
   expanded to include upper layer protocol information matching in
   order to analyze the handling of traffic with extension headers which
   are an important architectural component of IPv6.

6.2.1.  Filter Format

   The filter format defined in RFC2544 is applicable to IPv6 as well
   except that the source addresses (SA) and destination addresses (DA)
   are IPv6.  In addition to these basic filters, the evaluation of IPv6
   performance SHOULD analyze the correct filtering and handling of

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008                [Page 9]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   traffic with extension headers.

   While the intent is not to evaluate a platform's capability to
   process the various extension header types, the goal is to measure
   performance impact when the network element must parse through the
   extension headers in order to reach upper layer information.  In
   IPv6, routers do not have to parse through the extension headers
   (other than Hop-by-hop) unless, for example, the upper layer
   information has to be analyzed due to filters.

   For these reasons, to evaluate the network element handling of IPv6
   traffic with extension headers, the definition of the filters must be
   extended to include conditions applied to upper layer protocol
   information.  The following filter format SHOULD be used for this
   type of evaluation:

        [permit|deny]  [protocol] [SA] [DA]

   where permit or deny indicates the action to allow or deny a packet
   through the interface the filter is applied to.  The protocol field
   is defined as:
   o  ipv6: any IP Version 6 traffic
   o  tcp: Transmission Control Protocol
   o  udp: User Datagram Protocol
   and SA stands for the source address and DA for the destination
   address.  The upper layer protocols listed above are recommended
   selection, however they do not represent an all-inclusive list of
   upper layer protocols which could be used in defining filters.

6.2.2.  Filter Types

   Based on the RFC2544 recommendations, two types of tests are executed
   when evaluating performance in the presence of modifiers.  One with a
   single filter and one with 25 filters.  The recommended filters are
   exemplified with the help of the IPv6 documentation prefix [10] 2001:

   Examples of single filters are:

      Filter for TCP traffic - permit tcp 2001:DB8::1 2001:DB8::2
      Filter for UDP traffic - permit udp 2001:DB8::1 2001:DB8::2
      Filter for IPv6 traffic - permit ipv6 2001:DB8::1 2001:DB8::2

   The single line filter case SHOULD verify that the network element
   permits all TCP/UDP/IPv6 traffic with or without any number of
   extension headers from IPv6 SA 2001:DB8::1 to IPv6 DA 2001:DB8::2 and

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 10]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   deny all other traffic.

   Example of 25 filters:

      deny tcp 2001:DB8:1::1 2001:DB8:1::2
      deny tcp 2001:DB8:2::1 2001:DB8:2::2
      deny tcp 2001:DB8:3::1 2001:DB8:3::2
      deny tcp 2001:DB8:C::1 2001:DB8:C::2
      permit tcp 2001:DB8:99::1 2001:DB8:99::2
      deny tcp 2001:DB8:D::1 2001:DB8:D::2
      deny tcp 2001:DB8:E::1 2001:DB8:E::2
      deny tcp 2001:DB8:19::1 2001:DB8:19::2
      deny ipv6 any any

   The router SHOULD deny all traffic with or without extension headers
   except TCP traffic with SA 2001:DB8:99::1 and DA 2001:DB8:99::2.

7.  Benchmarking Tests

   This document recommends the same benchmarking tests described in
   RFC2544 while observing the DUT setup and the traffic setup
   considerations described above.  The following sections state the
   test types explicitly and highlight only the methodology differences
   that might exist with respect to those described in Section 26 of

   The specificities of IPv6, particularly the definition of extension
   headers processing, require additional benchmarking steps.  In this
   sense, the tests recommended by RFC2544 MUST be repeated for IPv6
   traffic without extension headers and with one or multiple extension

   IPv6's deployment in existing IPv4 environments and the expected long
   co-existence of the two protocols leads network operators to place
   great emphasis on understanding the performance of platforms
   forwarding both types of traffic.  While device resources are shared
   between the two protocols, it is important for IPv6 enabled platforms
   to not experience degraded IPv4 performance.  Thus, IPv6 benchmarking
   SHOULD be performed in the context of a stand alone protocol as well
   as in the context of its co-existence with IPv4.

   The modifiers defined are independent of extension header type so
   they can be applied equally to each one of the above tests.

   The benchmarking tests described in this section SHOULD be performed

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 11]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   under each of the following conditions:

   Extension header specific conditions:
      i) IPv6 traffic with no extension headers
      ii) IPv6 traffic with one extension header from the list in
      section 4.3
      iii) IPv6 traffic with the chain of extension headers described in
      section 4.3

   Co-existence specific conditions:
      iv) IPv4 ONLY traffic benchmarking
      v) IPv6 ONLY traffic benchmarking
      vi) IPv4-IPv6 traffic mix with the ratio 90% vs 10%
      vii) IPv4-IPv6 traffic mix with the ratio 50% vs 50%
      viii) IPv4-IPv6 traffic mix with the ratio 10% vs 90%

   Combining the test conditions listed for benchmarking IPv6 as a
   stand-alone protocol and the co-existence tests leads to a large
   coverage matrix.  A minimum requirement is to cover the co-existence
   conditions in the case of IPv6 with no extension headers and those
   where either of the traffic is 10% and 90% respectively.

   The subsequent sections describe each specific tests that MUST be
   executed under the conditions listed above for a complete
   benchmarking of IPv6 forwarding performance.

7.1.  Throughput

   Objective: To determine the DUT throughput as defined in RFC1242.

   Procedure: Same as RFC2544.

   Reporting Format: Same as RFC2544.

7.2.  Latency

   Objective: To determine the latency as defined in RFC1242.

   Procedure: Same as RFC2544.

   Reporting Format: Same as RFC2544.

7.3.  Frame Loss

   Objective: To determine the frame loss rate, as defined in RFC1242,
   of a DUT throughout the entire range of input data rates and frame

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 12]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   Procedure: Same as RFC2544.

   Reporting Format: Same as RFC2544.

7.4.  Back-to-Back Frames

   Objective: To characterize the ability of a DUT to process back-to-
   back frames as defined in RFC1242.

   Based on the IPv4 experience, the Back-to-Back frames test is
   characterized by significant variance due to short term variations in
   the processing flow.  For these reasons, this test is no longer
   recommended for IPv6 benchmarking.

7.5.  System Recovery

   Objective: To characterize the speed at which a DUT recovers from an
   overload condition.

   Procedure: Same as RFC2544.

   Reporting Format: Same as RFC2544.

7.6.  Reset

   Objective: To characterize the speed at which a DUT recovers from a
   device or software reset.

   Procedure: Same as RFC2544.

   Reporting Format: Same as RFC2544.

8.  IANA Considerations

   IANA reserved prefix xxxxx/48 for IPv6 benchmarking similar to in RFC 3330 [9].  This prefix length provides similar
   flexibility as the range allocated for IPv4 benchmarking and it is
   taking into consideration address conservation and simplicity of
   usage concerns.  The requested size meets the requirements for
   testing large network elements and large emulated networks.

   Note to IANA: Replace "xxxxx" with assigned prefix.

9.  Security Considerations

   Benchmarking activities as described in this memo are limited to

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 13]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   technology characterization using controlled stimuli in a laboratory
   environment, with dedicated address space and the constraints
   specified in the sections above.

   The benchmarking network topology will be an independent test setup
   and MUST NOT be connected to devices that may forward the test
   traffic into a production network, or misroute traffic to the test
   management network.

   Further, benchmarking is performed on a "black-box" basis, relying
   solely on measurements observable external to the DUT/SUT.

   Special capabilities SHOULD NOT exist in the DUT/SUT specifically for
   benchmarking purposes.  Any implications for network security arising
   from the DUT/SUT SHOULD be identical in the lab and in production

   The isolated nature of the benchmarking environments and the fact
   that no special features or capabilities, other than those used in
   operational networks, are enabled on the DUT/SUT requires no security
   considerations specific to the benchmarking process.

10.  Conclusions

   The Benchmarking Methodology for Network Interconnect Devices
   document, RFC2544 [8], is for the most part applicable to evaluating
   the IPv6 performance of network elements.  This document is
   addressing the IPv6 specific requirements that MUST be observed when
   applying the recommendations of RFC2544.  These additional
   requirements stem from the architecture characteristics of IPv6.
   This document is not a replacement of but a complement to RFC2544.

11.  Acknowledgements

   Scott Bradner provided valuable guidance and recommendations for this
   document.  The authors acknowledge the work done by Cynthia Martin
   and Jeff Dunn with respect to defining the terminology for IPv6
   benchmarking.  The authors would like to thank Bill Kine for his
   contribution to the initial document and to Bill Cerveny, Silvija
   Dry, Sven Lanckmans, Dean Lee, Athanassios Liakopoulos, Benoit
   Lourdelet, Al Morton, Rajiv Papejna and Pekka Savola for their very
   helpful feedback.  Maryam Hamza inspired the authors in completing
   this document.

12.  References

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 14]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

12.1.  Normative References

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

   [2]   Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6)
         Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.

   [3]   Narten, T., Nordmark, E., and W. Simpson, "Neighbor Discovery
         for IP Version 6 (IPv6)", RFC 2461, December 1998.

   [4]   Malis, A. and W. Simpson, "PPP over SONET/SDH", RFC 2615,
         June 1999.

   [5]   Kent, S., "IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)", RFC 4303,
         December 2005.

12.2.  Informative References

   [6]   Bradner, S., "Benchmarking terminology for network
         interconnection devices", RFC 1242, July 1991.

   [7]   Simpson, W., "PPP in HDLC-like Framing", STD 51, RFC 1662,
         July 1994.

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

   [9]   IANA, "Special-Use IPv4 Addresses", RFC 3330, September 2002.

   [10]  Huston, G., Lord, A., and P. Smith, "IPv6 Address Prefix
         Reserved for Documentation", RFC 3849, July 2004.

   [11]  Newman, D. and T. Player, "Hash and Stuffing: Overlooked
         Factors in Network Device Benchmarking", RFC 4814, March 2007.

Appendix A.  Theoretical Maximum Frame Rates Reference

   This appendix provides the formulas to calculate and the values for
   the theoretical maximum frame rates for two media types: Ethernet and

A.1.  Ethernet

   The throughput in frames per second (fps) for various Ethernet
   interface types and for a frame size X can be calculated with the
   following formula:

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 15]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

                    Line Rate (bps)

   The 20 bytes in the formula is the sum of the preamble (8 bytes) and
   the inter frame gap (12 bytes).  The throughput for various Ethernet
   interface types and frame sizes:

           Size     10Mb/s   100Mb/s   1000Mb/s   10000Mb/s
           Bytes    pps      pps       pps        pps

           64       14880    148809    1488095    14880952
           128      8445     84459     844594     8445945
           256      4528     45289     452898     4528985
           512      2349     23496     234962     2349624
           1024     1197     11973     119731     1197318
           1280     961      9615      96153      961538
           1518     812      8127      81274      812743
           4096     303      3036      30396      303691
           8192     152      1522      15221      152216
           9216     135      1353      13534      135339

   Note: Ethernet's maximum frame rates are subject to variances due to
   clock slip.  The listed rates are theoretical maximums and actual
   tests should account for a +/- 100 ppm tolerance.

A.2.  Packet over SONET

   ANSI T1.105 SONET provides the formula for calculating the maximum
   available bandwidth for the various Packet over SONET (PoS) interface

             STS-Nc (N = 3Y, where Y=1,2,3,etc)

             [(N*87) - N/3]*(9 rows)*(8 bit/byte)*(8000 frames/sec)

   Packets over SONET can use various encapsulations: PPP [4], HDLC [7]
   and Frame Relay.  All these encapsulations use a 4-byte header, a 2-
   or 4-byte FCS field and a 1-byte Flag which are all accounted for in
   the overall frame size.  The maximum frame rate for various interface
   types can be calculated with the formula (where X represents the
   frame size in bytes):

                    Line Rate (bps)

   The maximum throughput for various PoS interface types and frame

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 16]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007


           Size   OC-3c    OC-12c     OC-48c     OC-192c     OC-768c
           Bytes  fps      fps        fps        fps         fps

           53     346,666  1,386,666  5,546,666  22,186,666  88,746,666
           64     288,000  1,152,000  4,608,000  18,432,000  73,728,000
           128    145,116  580,465    2,321,860  9,287,441   37,149,767
           256    72,840   291,361    1,165,447  4,661,789   18,647,159
           512    36,491   145,964    583,859    2,335,438   9,341,754
           1024   18,263   73,053     292,214    1,168,858   4,675,434
           2048   9,136    36,544     146,178    584,714     2,338,857
           4096   4,569    18,276     73,107     292,428     1,169,714

   It is important to note that throughput test results may vary from
   the values presented in appendices A.1 and A.2 due to bit stuffing
   performed by various media types [11].  The theoretical throughput
   numbers were rounded down.

Authors' Addresses

   Ciprian Popoviciu
   Cisco Systems
   Kit Creek Road
   RTP, North Carolina  27709

   Phone: 919 787 8162

   Ahmed Hamza
   Cisco Systems
   3000 Innovation Drive
   Kanata  K2K 3E8

   Phone: 613 254 3656

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 17]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

   Gunter Van de Velde
   Cisco Systems
   De Kleetlaan 6a
   Diegem  1831

   Phone: +32 2704 5473

   Diego Dugatkin
   26601 West Agoura Rd
   Calabasas  91302

   Phone: 818 444 3124

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 18]

Internet-Draft        IPv6 Performance Benchmarking            July 2007

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).

   This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
   contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
   retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Intellectual Property

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is provided by the IETF
   Administrative Support Activity (IASA).

Popoviciu, et al.        Expires January 3, 2008               [Page 19]