Achievable Service Differentiation with Token bucket Marking for TCP

Philippe Nain

INRIA Sophia Antipolis


The Differentiated services (diffserv) architecture has been proposed as a scalable solution for providing service differentiation among flows without any per-flow buffer management inside the core of the network. It has been advocated that it is feasible to provide service differentiation among a set of flows by choosing an appropriate "marking profile" for each flow. In this paper, we examine (i) whether it is possible to provide service differentiation among a set of TCP flows by choosing appropriate marking profiles for each flow, (ii) under what circumstances, the marking profiles are able to influence the service that a TCP flow receives, and, (iii) how to choose a correct profile to achieve a given service level. We derive a simple, and yet accurate, analytical model for determining the achieved rate of a TCP flow when edge-routers use "token bucket" packet marking and core-routers use active queue management for preferential packet dropping. From our study, we observe three important results: (i) the achieved rate is not proportional to the assured rate, (ii) it is not always possible to achieve the assured rate and, (iii) there exist ranges of values of the achieved rate for which token bucket parameters have no influence. We find that it is not easy to regulate the service level achieved by a TCP flow by solely setting the profile parameters. In addition, we derive conditions that determine when the bucket size influences the achieved rate, and rates that can be achieved and those that cannot. Our study provides insight for choosing appropriate token bucket parameters for the achievable rates.

[Philippe Nain]
[INRIA Sophia Antipolis]