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Traffic Management, Shaping, and Engineering

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Traffic management is concerned with controlling and allocating network bandwidth, reducing delay, and minimizing congestion on networks. It encompasses the management of network capacity, measuring and modeling traffic, and analyzing performance. The basic idea is to manage network resources efficiently and give client/subscribers the bandwidth and service levels they need. For the carrier networks, these levels are negotiated in SLAs (service level agreements). At the same time, clients and subscribers traffic must be managed to ensure that it does not use bandwidth that would affect the service levels of other users. This requires admittance controls (only admit traffic that is allowed and no excess that would affect other service levels) and policing (monitor traffic on an ongoing basis).

Related to traffic management is capacity planning, which involves measuring and modeling network traffic in order to schedule and provision network bandwidth for current and future requirements. See "Capacity Planning."

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:

  • Traffic management in ATM
  • ATM Traffic engineering and QoS via traffic management functions and service categories
  • CAC (connection admission control)
  • Policing, or UPC (usage parameter control)
  • Traffic shaping
  • Internet traffic engineering
  • RSVP (Resource Reservation Protocol)
  • Diff-Serv (Differentiated Services)
  • Congestion control mechanisms, including RED (random early discard), ECN (explicit congestion notification), and TCP rate control
  • Traffic classifiers, markers, policy systems, bandwidth brokers, and traffic conditioners
  • Queuing methods such as FIFO queuing, priority queuing, fair queuing, WFQ (weighted fair queuing), and CBQ (class-based queuing)
  • MPLS traffic engineering

The following Web sites provide more information on ATM QoS and traffic management. Also see RFC 2761 (Terminology for ATM Bendmarking, February 2000).

The ATM Forum traffic management specification

NET (Network Equipment Technologies) ATM traffic management papers

Kentrox paper: "Traffic Management in ATM Networks"

Ericsson paper: "ATM traffic management and resource optimization"

Traffic shaping by Klara Nahrstedt

Cisco documentation: "Policing and Shaping Overview"

The following references provide more information about MPLS traffic engineering. Also refer to the tewg and mpls Working Groups listed on the related entries page for a complete list of RFCs and drafts related to traffic engineering.

Web ProForum paper: "A Comparison of MPLS Traffic-Engineering Inititatives"

MPLS Resource Center

Juniper paper: "Traffic Engineering for the New Public Network" by Chuck Semeria

Cisco document: "MPLS Traffic Engineering"

The following Internet RFCs provide additional information on MPLS and the other traffic engineering techniques described above.

  • RFC 2309 (Recommendations on Queue Management and Congestion Avoidance in the Internet, April 1998)

  • RFC 2386 (A Framework for QoS-based Routing in the Internet, August 1998)

  • RFC 2430 (A Provider Architecture for Differentiated Services and Traffic Engineering, October 1998)

  • RFC 2475 (An Architecture for Differentiated Services, December 1998)

  • RFC 2581 (TCP Congestion Control, April 1999)

  • RFC 2702 (Requirements for Traffic Engineering over MPLS, September 1999)

  • RFC 2915 (Congestion Control Principles, September 2000)

  • RFC 2963 (A Rate Adaptive Shaper for Differentiated Services, October 2000)

  • RFC 2990 (Next Steps for the IP QoS Architecture, November 2000)

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.