[tmrg] TCP Evaluation Suite

David <david.hayes@ieee.org> Tue, 28 June 2011 07:05 UTC

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Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2011 17:05:44 +1000
From: David <david.hayes@ieee.org>
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Cc: dahayes@swin.edu.au, Lachlan Andrew <landrew@swin.edu.au>
Subject: [tmrg] TCP Evaluation Suite
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Hi Everyone,

I have been working on a revised version of the TCP test suite (see
http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-irtf-tmrg-tests-02) as well as its ns-2
implementation. In the process we have identified a number of design decisions
to be made.  Below, we propose some possibilities, but would like to get
research group consensus on them before releasing the next draft.

Some of these possibilities are based on practical issues to do with the
implementation of the draft in ns-2. This email is meant to bring everyone up to
date with the progress, explain some of the practical background, and open the
floor for comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc. I especially especially
solicit responses to the questions between "***".

So far, most of the work has been with the basic dumbbell scenarios.

Note there are some ascii diagrams that require a fixed with font to be viewed


1.1 Background on the traffic traces:

The test suite uses Tmix to replay traces of TCP connection arrivals and their
resulting origin-destination interatactions, including the amount of data for
each interaction. The Tmix traffic used in the scenarios is not symmetric and
not stationary.

Some analysis of the traffic would be good to have as part of the suite, and is
being investigated.

1.2 Background concerning scaling the traffic.

To adjust the traffic load for the given scenarios, the connection arrival times
are scaled.
Connections are started at:
	          time = scale * connection_start_time

The smaller the scale the higher (in general) the traffic.

Note that changing the connection start times also changes the way the traffic
interacts, potentially changing the "clumping" of traffic bursts.

1.3 Simulation start up


To accelerate the system start up, the system is "prefilled" to approximate a
"steady state" of congestion. All connections that would have started in time=0s
to time=prefill are started more closely together spaced over a MaxRTT period
before time=prefill.  The idea behind this is to lessen the time taken before
measurements can be taken. Measurements are begin after time=2*prefill

Fixed with font required.
t=0                       t=prefill                 t=2*prefill
                     | start connections here.

*** Does any one foresee problems with attempting to reduce the necessary
  simulation warmup time with this method? ***

1.4. Packet sizes

The draft calls for 10% 536B and 90% 1500B TCP packets. To achieve this, we have
added a new MSS record has been added to the Tmix traffic vector files, and Tmix
enhanced to use it. The original traces have been processed so that the TCP MSS
for each tmix connection is selected randomly (i.i.d.) with 10% 496B and 90%

Rationale: The maximum segment size is generally constant for any particular

*** Is it enough to randomly select the MSS for each connection in the trace
    file without being concerned how much traffic each connection generates?


The connection arrival times are scaled for each scenario so as to achieve a
certain average loss rate at the most congested queue on the central link. The
draft in general omitted the target loss rates, but noted that moderate
congestion had about a 1-2% loss rate for the access link.

In these scenarios packet loss is not primarily caused by long lived TCP
sessions in congestion avoidance mode cyclically filling the buffer. It is often
caused by the "collision" of multiple TCP sessions starting together.

It was difficult to achieve any stable results with these targets for the
dial-up and geostationary satellite cases. Both of these scenarios experience
very bursty loss, with the dial-up scenario by being by far the worst. For these
scenarios we propose:

Geostationary satellite: Mild congestion 2%, Moderate congestion 6% Dial-up link
(64kbps): Mild congestion 5%, Moderate congestion 15%

Wireless link: to be studied.

The rule of thumb was moderate congestion is three times the loss of mild
congestion. For the non-congested link traffic we propose a connection arrival
rate of half that of the mild-congestion scenario.

*** Do these targets seem reasonably practical? Comments? Suggestions? ***


The draft recommended at least 100s. We have found that this is not sufficient
in any but the data center and transoceanic scenarios.

The simulation times listed below are rough minima which provide enough
averaging for a reliable determination of the connection arrival time scaling
for the target loss rates. Final values require further study.

Approximate simulation times:
 - data center: ~85s (including 35s warmup)
 - transoceanic: ~100s (40s warmup)
 - access link: ~360s (60s warmup)
 - geostationary: ~740s (40s warmup)
 - dial-up: ~5100s (100s warmup)

	1. The traffic is not stationary. 
	2. data center and transoceanic links have thousands of concurrent
	TCP sessions and take a significant amount of real time.

*** Is everyone happy with simulation times varying according to the scenario?
    Comments? Suggestions? ***


3.1 Topology:

Topologies mainly are as described in draft with changes highlighted below.

3.1.1 Data Center and Transoceanic

Currently a central link of 1Gbps is the fastest speed that can be
practically simulated with ns-2. We propose that these experiments use a
1Gbps central link.

*** Is this reasonable? Comments? Suggestions? ***

3.1.2 Geostationary satellite

The draft proposed a topology with a 40Mbps bidirectional central link. The
access links were asymmetric 40/4 Mbps on one side of the central link, and
4/40Mbps on the other side of the central link.

We propose that this scenario be altered to model a network connected to a
hub, connected via satellite to the backbone Internet. The central link
models the asymmetric satellite connection. See below:

Fixed with font required.

           Node_1                                      Node_4 
                 \                                    / 
                  \          satellite link          / 
          Node_2 --- Router_1 -------------- Router_2 --- Node_5 
                  /                                  \ 
                 /          4Mbps--->                 \ 
           Node_3              <---40Mbps              Node_6 

We propose that the delay parameters are as in the draft, and that the
access links are set at 100Mbps.

	   1. Our (inexhaustive) scan of current commercial satellite offerings
	   didn't show common use of the draft scenario.

	   2. The proposed scenario seemed more common in practice (though
	   sometimes the link is more asymmetric (ie 1Mbps up and 40Mbps down).

	   2. It is consistent with the other wired dumbbell scenarios, with
	   congestion on the central link.

	   4. Having congestion on some of the access links, each of which carry
	   different traffic makes it difficult to determine the appropriate
	   "scale" factor for connection arrivals to achieve the target level of

*** Do you agree with this proposed change in topology? Can you see problems
    with it? Comments? Changes? Enhancements? Caveats? *** 

3.2 Buffer sizes

The draft suggests a buffer size of 100ms. This is roughly the median base
RTT of possible paths for the access link scenario (actually 102ms).

This size is too big for the data center scenario.  It is very impractical for
the dial-up link (less than 1 packet!).

To deal with these issues, while attempting to provide a standard type of
test, We propose the following buffer sizes:

      1. Access-link, data-center, trans-oceanic, and geostationary scenario
      central link buffers are set to the median base RTT. This results in
      buffer sizes of 102ms, 22ms, 232ms, and 702ms respectively (these being
      converted to the integer number of 1500B packets that achieve this,
      rounded down).

      2. The dial-up link have its central link buffers set at 6 packets. This
      allows for 3 concurrent 2 packet bursts.

      3. The wireless scenario is still being investigated.

*** Do these proposed buffer sizes seem reasonable? Comments? Suggestions?
    Other proposals? ***

| David A. Hayes			|
| david.hayes@ieee.org			|
| dahayes@swin.edu.au			|
| http://caia.swin.edu.au/cv/dahayes/	|