Performance Metrics for Other Layers (pmol)

Last modified: 2011-08-24


Operations and Management Area Directors

Operations and Management Area Advisor

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Description of Working Group:

The successful implementation and operation of IP based applications often depends on some underlying performance measurement infrastructure that helps service operators or network managers to recognize when performance is unsatisfactory and identify problems affecting service quality. Standardized performance metrics add the desirable features of consistent implementation, interpretation, no comparison.

The IETF has two Working Groups dedicated to the development of performance metrics however each has strict limitations in their charters:

- The Benchmarking Methodology WG has addressed a range of networking technologies and protocols in their long history (such as IEEE 802.3, ATM, Frame Relay, and Routing Protocols), but the charter strictly limits their Performance characterizations to the laboratory environment.

- The IP Performance Metrics WG has the mandate to develop metrics applicable to the performance of Internet data delivery, but it is specifically prohibited from developing metrics that characterize traffic (such as a VoIP stream).

The IETF also has current and completed activities related to the reporting of application performance metrics (e.g. RAQMON and RTCP XR) and is also actively involved in the development of reliable transport protocols which would affect the relationship between IP performance and application performance.

Thus there is a gap in the currently chartered coverage of IETF WGs: development of performance metrics for IP-based protocols and applications that operate over UDP, TCP, SCTP, DCCP, Forward Error Correction (FEC) and other robust transport protocols, and that can be used to characterize traffic on live networks.

The working group will focus on the completion of two RFCs:

1. A PMOL framework and guidelines memo that will describe the necessary elements of performance metrics of protocols and applications transported over IETF-specified protocols (such as the formal definition, purpose, and units of measure) and the various types of metrics that characterize traffic on live networks (such as metrics derived from other metrics, possibly on lower layers). The framework will also address the need to specify the intended audience and the motivation for the performance metrics. There will also be guidelines for a performance metric development process that includes entry criteria for new proposals (how a proposal might be evaluated for possible endorsement by a protocol development working group), and how an successful proposal will be developed. Also, it is recognized that there are applications and protocols that do not need to use this framework and can make use of simpler specific methods for determining performance.

2. A proof-of-concept RFC defining performance metrics for SIP, based on draft-malas-performance-metrics. This memo would serve as an example of the framework and the PMOL development process in the IETF.

Discussion of new work proposals is strongly discouraged under the initial charter of the PMOL WG, except to advise a protocol development WG when they are evaluating a new work proposal for related performance metrics.

The Working Group will work closely with the RAI and APPS areas, performing early review of the documents with the two areas and inviting their particpation in the WGLC.

The PMOL WG will also be guided by a document describing how memos defining performance metrics are intended to advance along the IETF Standards track (draft-bradner-metricstest).

PMOL WG will take advantage of expertise and seek to avoid overlap with other standards development organizations, such as ETSI STQ, ITU-T SG 12, ATIS IIF, ATIS PRQC, and others.

Goals and Milestones

Jul 2008 Performance Metrics Draft to IESG Review for consideration as Proposed Standard
Sep 2008 PMOL Framework and Guidelines Draft to IESG Review for consideration as BCP
Nov 2008 Discuss rechartering of the WG for new PMOL metrics work or shut down


Request for Comments

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