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A Proposed Flow Specification (RFC1363)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002187D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 17 page(s) / 47K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

C. Partridge: AUTHOR

Abstract

A flow specification (or "flow spec") is a data structure used by internetwork hosts to request special services of the internetwork, often guarantees about how the internetwork will handle some of the hosts' traffic. In the future, hosts are expected to have to request such services on behalf of distributed applications such as multimedia conferencing.

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Network Working Group C. Partridge

Request for Comments: 1363 BBN

September 1992

A Proposed Flow Specification

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does

not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is

unlimited.

Abstract

A flow specification (or "flow spec") is a data structure used by

internetwork hosts to request special services of the internetwork,

often guarantees about how the internetwork will handle some of the

hosts' traffic. In the future, hosts are expected to have to request

such services on behalf of distributed applications such as

multimedia conferencing.

The flow specification defined in this memo is intended for

information and possible experimentation (i.e., experimental use by

consenting routers and applications only). This RFC is a product of

the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).

Introduction

The Internet research community is currently studying the problems of

supporting a new suite of distributed applications over

internetworks. These applications, which include multimedia

conferencing, data fusion, visualization, and virtual reality, have

the property that they require the distributed system (the collection

of hosts that support the applications along with the internetwork to

which they are attached) be able to provide guarantees about the

quality of communication between applications. For example, a video

conference may require a certain minimum bandwidth to be sure that

the video images are delivered in a timely way to all recipients.

One way for the distributed system to provide guarantees is for hosts

to negotiate with the internetwork for rights to use a certain part

of the internetwork's resources. (An alternative is to have the

internetwork infer the hosts' needs from information embedded in the

data traffic each host injects into the network. Currently, it is

not clear how to make this scheme work except for a rather limited

set of traffic classes.)

There are a number of ways to effect a negotiation. For example a

negotiation can be done in-band or out-of-band. It can also be done

in advance of sending data (possibly days in advance), as the first

part of a connection setup, or concurrently with sending (i.e., a

host starts sending data and starts a negotiation to try to ensure

that it will allowed to continue sending). Insofar as is possible,

this memo is agnostic with regard to the variety ...