Re: [PCN] 5.5. Probing functions

Lars Eggert <> Thu, 01 November 2007 13:10 UTC

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From: Lars Eggert <>
Subject: Re: [PCN] 5.5. Probing functions
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2007 15:10:21 +0200
To: ext Georgios Karagiannis <>
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On 2007-11-1, at 14:39, ext Georgios Karagiannis wrote:
>> (1) The ingress needs to generate traffic in a pattern and at
>> a rate that lets it draw conclusions about whether it is OK
>> to admit the flow that is waiting for admission. How does it
>> know what characteristics the probe traffic should have and
>> how does it generate the probe traffic?
> Georgios: The PCN_ingress_node generates one probe packet for each new
> incoming flow that requests access from the PCN_domain.

how is a single packet probing the path? It's not obvious to me how  
one would derive bottleneck load based on a single packet, i.e.,  
based on one or zero markings.

>> (2) How long do you need to probe for before you declare it
>> safe to admit the new flow?
> Georgios: One probe packet per new incoming and flow is enough
> if the PCN_domain takes care that the probe packet will be marked  
> PCN_marked or using an other type of encoding, if it is passing  
> through a congested PCN_interior_node.

Ah - so this requires the marking scheme to mark all packets once the  
defined pre-congestion load level is reached, instead of marking  
proportionally with an increase in load, correct? This eliminates  
some of the marking options that have been discussed.

And you need to ensure that - after having gotten an indication of  
"not loaded" from the path - the single flow you're about to admit  
cannot by itself push the bottleneck straight into overload. This is,  
because the "not loaded" piece of information doesn't tell you how  
close to pre-congestion the bottleneck is, and if it can actually  
sustain the rate that the flow is going to send at.

You could do this through appropriate configuration, i.e., ensuring  
that the level at which you start marking is sufficiently below the  
overload state that you can sustain one new flow. Or two. Or three.  
How much is enough?

And if you did this through configuration, i.e., making sure that  
1,2,3,... flows can be admitted, what's the benefit of probing? Why  
not simply admit the flow?

>> What's the delay before a new
>> flow can be admitted, and can apps actually deal with this delay?
> The delay = one RTT (within PCN_domain).
>> (3) Since you're sending probe traffic at a rate that is
>> likely not insignificant, how do you prevent the probe
>> traffic itself from causing congestion and triggering
>> stop-admission or flow-termination actions? If you're
>> treating it differently (e.g., at a lower priority), how is
>> what the probe traffic experiences still representative of
>> what the real flow would experience? (How can you treat it
>> differently and still make ECMP work?)
> Georgios: By just sending one probe packet per new incoming flow that
> requests access into the PCN_domain.

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