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Specification of Guaranteed Quality of Service (RFC2212)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002770D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 20 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

S. Shenker: AUTHOR [+2]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC2212: DOI


This memo describes the network element behavior required to deliver a guaranteed service (guaranteed delay and bandwidth) in the Internet. [STANDARDS-TRACK]

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 7% of the total text.

Network Working Group S. Shenker Request for Comments: 2212 Xerox Category: Standards Track C. Partridge BBN R. Guerin IBM September 1997

Specification of Guaranteed Quality of Service

Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


This memo describes the network element behavior required to deliver a guaranteed service (guaranteed delay and bandwidth) in the Internet. Guaranteed service provides firm (mathematically provable) bounds on end-to-end datagram queueing delays. This service makes it possible to provide a service that guarantees both delay and bandwidth. This specification follows the service specification template described in [1].


This document defines the requirements for network elements that support guaranteed service. This memo is one of a series of documents that specify the network element behavior required to support various qualities of service in IP internetworks. Services described in these documents are useful both in the global Internet and private IP networks.

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.

This document is based on the service specification template given in [1]. Please refer to that document for definitions and additional information about the specification of qualities of service within the IP protocol family.

Shenker, et. al. Standards Track [Page 1]

RFC 2212 Guaranteed Quality of Service September 1997

In brief, the concept behind this memo is that a flow is described using a token bucket and given this description of a flow, a service element (a router, a subnet, etc) computes various parameters describing how the service element will handle the flow’s data. By combining the parameters from the various service elements in a path, it is possible to compute the maximum delay a piece of data will experience when transmitted via that path.

It is important to note three characteristics of this memo and the service it specifies:

1. While the requirements a setup mechanism must follow to achieve a guaranteed reservation are carefully specified, neither the setup mechanism itself nor the method for identifying flows is specified. One can create a guaranteed reservation using a protocol like RSVP, manual configuration of relevant routers or a network management protocol like SNMP. This specification is intentionally independent of setup mechanism.

2. To achieve a bounded delay requires that every service element in the path supports guaranteed service or adequately mimics guaranteed service. However this requirement does not imply that...