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Terminology for IP Multicast Benchmarking (RFC2432) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003010D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Document File: 16 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

K. Dubray: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC2432: DOI


The purpose of this document is to define terminology specific to the benchmarking of multicast IP forwarding devices. This memo provides information for the Internet community.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 11% of the total text.

Network Working Group K. Dubray Request for Comments: 2432 IronBridge Networks Category: Informational October 1998

Terminology for IP Multicast Benchmarking

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 Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.


The purpose of this document is to define terminology specific to the benchmarking of multicast IP forwarding devices. It builds upon the tenets set forth in RFC 1242, RFC 2285, and other IETF Benchmarking Methodology Working Group (BMWG) efforts. This document seeks to extend these efforts to the multicast paradigm.

The BMWG produces two major classes of documents: Benchmarking Terminology documents and Benchmarking Methodology documents. The Terminology documents present the benchmarks and other related terms. The Methodology documents define the procedures required to collect the benchmarks cited in the corresponding Terminology documents.

1. Introduction

Network forwarding devices are being required to take a single frame and support delivery to a number of destinations having membership to a particular group. As such, multicast support may place a different burden on the resources of these network forwarding devices than with unicast or broadcast traffic types.

Such burdens may not be readily apparent at first glance - the IP multicast packet’s Class D address may be the only noticeable difference from an IP unicast packet. However, there are many factors that may impact the treatment of IP multicast packets.

Consider how a device’s architecture may impact the handling of a multicast frame. For example, is the multicast packet subject to the same processing as its unicast analog? Or is the multicast packet treated as an exeception and processed on a different data path?

Dubray Informational [Page 1]

RFC 2432 Terminology for IP Multicast Benchmarking October 1998

Consider, too, how a shared memory architecture may demonstrate a different performance profile than an architecture which explicitly passes each individual packet between the processing entities.

In addition to forwarding device architecture, there are other factors that may impact a device’s or system’s multicast related performance. Protocol requirements may demand that routers and switches consider destination and source addressing in its multicast forwarding decisions. Capturing multicast source/destination addressing information may impact forwarding table size and lengthen lookups. Topological factors such as the degree of packet replication, the number of multicast groups being supported by the system, or the placement of multicast packets in unicast wrappers to span non-multicast network paths may all potentially affect a system’s multicast related performance. For an overall understanding of IP multicasting, the reader is directed to [Se98], [Hu95], and [Mt...